A COMPUTER hacker who snooped on a young woman with whom he was infatuated was told by a judge: ‘You’re lucky you haven’t been given a custodial sentence.’
Zack Wesson, 20, gained access to his victim’s computer on multiple occasions as he ogled over her private life - leaving her feeling violated.
Wesson’s behaviour was described as bordering on ‘stalking’ during his appearance at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.
‘This is a serious case where Mr Wesson was trying to track a young woman through her computer use,’ prosecutor Alicia Keen said.
‘His interest grew in July 2017 after they left school. He hacked her accounts and changed her passwords.
‘He was trying to get information on her and her social life.
‘Social media accounts were interfered with by him on numerous occasions causing her upset.’
She added: ‘This is so very close to stalking. This is more serious than just getting information. It was particularly intrusive to her life.’
Wesson, of New Town, Portchester, admitted seven offences of causing a computer to perform a function enabling unauthorised access to a program between August 2017 and February 2019.
Defending, Lian Webster argued Wesson should only receive a conditional discharge after he was punished for a related offence of malicious communication in October last year where he was given a 12-month community order.
The lawyer said it was ‘rather puzzling’ why the offences were not executed at the same time. ‘It’s rather unfortunate it’s taken over a year (for the latest offences to appear in court) when he’s already been punished before,’ she said.
‘The offences are entrenched in the same circumstances as the previous ones.’
But district judge Gary Lucie told Wesson: ‘You are lucky all the offences were not sentenced together as you could have been looking at a custodial sentence but a substantial period of time has now passed.’
The judge added: ‘This is an intrusive case where your method was to hack into her accounts.’
Instead, Wesson was given a 12-month community order to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and told to pay an £85 surcharge.