The trial of a man who hacked a BBC presenter to get more than £250.000 from his online readers has heard he had an “explosive” attack on a computer he used to create an online diary.
Matt McArthur, 22, from Oxford, admitted hacking the online journal of BBC Radio 4 presenter Trevor Baker and his girlfriend, Sabrina Hunter.
He also pleaded guilty to an aggravated breach of trust in a breach of the Computer Misuse Act, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Judge Paul O’Donnell QC said the offence was “a very serious matter”.
He told McArthur: “You have been an active participant in this crime.”
Mr McArthur was also ordered to pay £6,000 compensation to Mr Hunter and £5,000 to Mr Baker.
“You acted with the intent to gain access to an account,” the judge said.
“It was not a casual slip-up.”
He added that the offences took place between September and December last year.
Mr McAvoy said the case against him would be adjourned until November 2.
“I’m not going to have a normal life and I have no way of knowing what will happen in the coming months,” he said.
He said he had been using a VPN and had no idea how he got access to the account, which he had used for more than a year.
The court heard McArthur had spent months researching Baker and Hunter’s online diary and had been “on the lookout” for opportunities to use the information to make a profit. “
And the way they handle it is just a bit too far out of touch.”
The court heard McArthur had spent months researching Baker and Hunter’s online diary and had been “on the lookout” for opportunities to use the information to make a profit.
McArthur’s barrister, Anthony Wills QC, said the prosecution had been hampered by a lack of evidence.
“What’s been shown by the evidence is a person who has been on the hunt for an online platform for the past six months,” Mr Wills said.
McAvoys computer had been hacked in December and the court heard he used a VPN to access Baker’s blog, which contained the diary.
He was also “a keen follower” of Baker and had posted a picture of the pair holding a baby together in an online chat.
McArthons computer had not been hacked and there was no evidence he had stolen any data, the judge heard.
McAdams trial in Oxford, UK, starts at the Old Bailey tomorrow.
He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and fined £25,000.
The judge said McArthur faced an “opportunity to use this data to make some money”.
The jury at the trial in London will return on Thursday.
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