A disgruntled employee who took exception to being dismissed from his company and bombarded his former employer with five million e-mails was sentenced to a two-month curfew yesterday, in a landmark case.
David Lennon, 19, worked part-time as an accounts clerk at a branch of Domestic & General, the insurance firm, in Bedworth, Warwickshire.
When he was dismissed after just five months in 2003, Lennon used a computer program to send continuous e-mails automatically to Domestic & General?s server, which eventually collapsed, costing the company ?30,000. The e-mails, which contained a quote from the horror film The Ring, were traced to Lennon?s home in Bedworth.
Yesterday he pleaded guilty at Wimbledon Youth Court to causing an unauthorised modification to a computer, under the Computer Misuse Act. It is the first time that someone has been convicted for the offence.
In November a judge ruled that Lennon had no case to answer, pointing out that as the purpose of a company?s server was to receive e-mails, it had consented to the e-mails being sent. But the High Court overturned the decision.
The maximum sentence is five years? imprisonment.