[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 16:18 GMT
Spammer jailed for 1.6m net scam
Peter Francis-Macrae
Peter Francis-Macrae was jailed for six years
An internet spammer convicted of running a 1.6m e-mail scam from a bedroom in his father's house has been jailed for six years.

Peter Francis-Macrae, of St Neots, Cambs, was found guilty of threatening to kill and blackmail.

The 23-year-old was also convicted of threatening to destroy or damage property, concealing criminal property and fraudulent trading.

He had offered thousands of e-mail and website names when he had no right.

Attack servers

And when victims complained, he threatened to destroy their internet systems by sending millions of spam e-mails.

Peterborough Crown Court heard he also threatened to fire-bomb the headquarters of the county's trading standards department and petrol-bomb his local police headquarters.

When internet registry group Nominet posted warnings about his activities, he responded by saying he would attack its servers.

Francis-Macrae, who made more than 100,000 per week from the scam, spent 28,000 on designer clothes and on learning to fly helicopters, the court heard.

'Lie using internet'

During the trial, Francis-Macrae defied Judge Nicholas Coleman QC by refusing to reveal where he hid up to 425,000, saying Cambridgeshire Police would "steal" it.

After sentencing, Pc Jody Faro said: "This investigation highlights just how easy it can be to deceive and lie to people using the internet."

Francis-Macrae was found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading, one of concealing criminal property, two of making threats to kill, one charge of threatening to destroy or damage property and one count of blackmail.

The 23-year-old was cleared of two charges of making threats to kill.

Spammer's net name scam revealed
13 Oct 05 |  Technology
'Computer fraudster netted 1.6m'
12 Oct 05 |  Cambridgeshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific