Thereby proving every word of the victim’s impact statement:
The court heard extracts from a letter by Andrew Laws about the loss of his business, which the judge described as ‘poignant.’
Addressed to the hacker who had attacked the site, it read: ‘As you claim to know me, you may know that I left school with no qualifications, and fought for my place in the world, a world that despises academic failure. What hollow victory is yours?’
Which apparently the judge didn’t read (or did, but he has no irony gene):
Passing sentence, Judge Mr Recorder Jeremy Donne QC said the offences were so serious that if Woodham had been over 21 and been convicted after a trial, he would have given him a three-year prison sentence.
But he said that because of the defendants’ age, their guilty pleas and the fact they have either just started or are due to start further education, he could spare them immediate custody.
He told the teenagers: ‘Neither of you is a professional criminal, but each of you behaved with a degree of professionalism.
‘You Mr Woodham appear to have great gifts, you are an intelligent and well educated young man.
‘You have developed a great interest in the workings of computers and their programmes and mechanics of the internet, and you clearly decided you could exercise a degree of power and control using the internet…’