Leeds Facebook Blackmail Student Sentenced
4 April 2013, 19:01
A Leeds University student who hacked a woman's emails and posted naked photos on her Facebook page has been given a suspended sentence for blackmail.
20 year old William Wooles, from Great Dunmow, Essex, was studying at Leeds University when he hacked into the email account of his victim, a 20 year old female student in Manchester.
He then sent an email saying he had found some “interesting” things on her account - and wanted to see more intimate images, Manchester Crown Court heard.
The victim had previously sent private images to her then boyfriend and they remained in her sent items box.
Wooles, who did not know the victim, emailed her in May last year, threatening to publish the photos online if she did not send him some intimate images.
A third email from Wooles said: “Sorry, this could have been avoided if you just sent me what I asked for?”
But the emails from Wooles had been filtered as spam on the victim's account - and were only discovered when it was too late.
The victim logged on to her Facebook account and, to her horror, saw a number of naked pictures of her posted on her profile page.
With more than 1,000 followers, many of her friends and family may have seen the images.
Wooles, who also targeted another woman, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two offences of blackmail and two offences of computer misuse.
He was sentenced to two years' imprisonment, suspended for two years, for the blackmail offences and one year, suspended for 12 months, for each computer misuse offence, all to run concurrently.
He was also ordered to complete 150 hours community service and was given a restraining order not to contact victims, a forfeiture order and destruction order for the laptop.
After discovering the images on her Facebook page the victim contacted Greater Manchester Police (GMP), who traced Wooles to Leeds University by his computer IP address.
Officers went to the halls of residence and arrested him.