Lee Hughes secures a community order for computer expert who amassed tens of thousands of private images over a period of 19 months by hacking into private social media profiles

Lee was instructed by Beth Wilson of Forbes Solicitors, to represent a defendant in the Crown Court. From February 2018 to September 2019 the defendant illegally gained access to social media profiles to obtain images and videos of his targets.

The offence was only discovered following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police and National Crime Agency into data-selling websites regularly used by the defendant.

Upon discovery police seized and examined numerous devices belonging to the defendant. They also gained access to various online profiles managed by the defendant. During their analysis, they found around 50,000 images and videos, many of which were explicit in nature (but not indecent).

The defendant, now a computer programmer, pleaded guilty to 12 separate offences at the Magistrates’ Court and was committed to the Crown Court for sentence.

Despite the authorities suggesting that a custodial sentence was appropriate for cases of this type, particularly given the lengthy period of offending and the number of private images obtained, the court imposed a community order for 2 years, with an unpaid work requirement of 80 hours and 30 RAR days. The court also ordered £500 compensation be paid to each of the 11 named victims. This was an excellent result.

Lee has a particular interest in computer related offences. If you wish to instruct him then please contact Ty Price on 0161 832 5701.