Teen computer hacker pleads guilty to offences at Norwich Crown Court

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A teenage computer hacker who used his skills to steal people's personal data and sell it to criminals will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to a number of offences.

Elliott Gunton, 19, who was convicted of hacking TalkTalk when he was 16, was having his computer use monitored by police when they discovered he was profiting from selling hacked data and making hundreds of thousands of pounds in crypto currency, a form of digital money, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Gunton, who had amassed a crypto-currency wealth of more than $381,000, claims he made the fortune out of "stocks and shares".

He was being monitored by police as part of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) imposed in June 2016 after indecent images of children were found on his laptop.

Gunton, of Mounteney Close, Norwich, had been on trial at the crown court in April charged with five counts including charges under the Computer Misuse Act 1990,

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The jury was discharged after Gunton's barrister fell ill and a new trial was listed for September.

But Gunton appeared in court on Thursday (July 4) when he pleaded guilty to three offences.

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Gunton admitted breach of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) as well as two offences under the Computer Misuse Act (1990), including supplying profile user names and email accounts believing that they were likely to be used to commit or to assist in the commission of an offence.

Judge Stephen Holt, who was asked to give an indication of sentence before the pleas were entered, adjourned sentencing until August 16 for a pre-sentence report.

He said Gunton had "already spent a lot of time in custody for someone of your age" and wanted to explore if there was a "more constructive way of helping you from not committing further crime".

Judge Holt granted Gunton bail on the condition he resides with his grandmother but did however remove a curfew condition stating "the less time you spend in your bedroom in front of a computer screen the better."

Matthew McNiff, representing Gunton, said his client was a "young man who is adept at hacking" and who was doing it for "s***s and giggles".

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