Page last updated at 00:35 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

US TV anchor convicted of hacking

Former KYW-TV news presenter Alycia Lane leaves court in Philadelphia
Mendte apologised to Miss Lane, who was in court for the sentencing

A former US TV news presenter who hacked into a rival's e-mail and leaked gossip to the press has been sentenced to six months under house arrest.

Larry Mendte, 51, was also handed 250 hours of community service and a $5,000 (3,300) fine. He was sacked in June.

Lawyers for Alycia Lane, 36, said Mendte's actions "destroyed her career and made her a tabloid feeding frenzy".

The pair co-anchored the evening news bulletin on Philadelphia station KYW-TV from 2004 until January 2008.

Mendte admitted hacking into his colleague's e-mail hundreds of times, before and after Miss Lane was dismissed by the broadcaster in January.

Several of Miss Lane's personal e-mails had appeared in the US media, including a message about a sexy bikini shot of herself that she sent to a married ex-colleague.

'Two-year assault'

During the case, Mendte was said to be jealous of his rival's $780,000 (516,000) annual salary, which was greater than his own.

He told the court: "My role at the station was still being diminished when Alycia told me... that she was the rising star and that I was '50 and on my way out'."

He said: "I felt I was in trouble. My career, my future, my family's future was in trouble. And, this is where I got into more trouble - federal trouble."

Prosecutors described Mendte's actions as a "two-year assault on [Miss Lane's] privacy".

Mendte apologised to Miss Lane, who was present for the sentencing. She provided a confidential statement which was given to the court but made no public comment.

Miss Lane was fired by the TV station after she was arrested in New York in December following a scuffle with police.

The charges were later dropped. She is suing KYW, which is owned and operated by CBS, for wrongful dismissal.

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