Teen spared prison for cyber attacks

Share this article
Have your say

A TEENAGE “hacktivist” has been spared jail for his part in a plot to carry out cyber attacks on large companies with the notorious Anonymous group.

Jake Birchall, 18, from Chester, was handed an 18-month youth rehabilitation order at Southwark Crown Court in London yesterday after he previously admitted conspiring to impair the operation of computers between 1 August 2010, and 22 January 2011.

Judge Peter Testar also sentenced the teenager to 60 hours of unpaid work and 18 months’ supervision, an official confirmed yesterday.

Last week, Birchall’s three co-accused were given prison sentences – one suspended – for their part in the attacks on companies including PayPal, MasterCard and Visa. The attacks cost PayPal £3.5 million.

Christopher Weatherhead, known by the online nickname Nerdo, 22, of Holly Road, Northampton, was given the longest sentence. He was jailed for 18 months.

Ashley Rhodes, 28, of Bolton Crescent, Camberwell, south London, was given seven months, and Peter Gibson, 24, from Castletown Road, Hartlepool was given a six-month suspended sentence.