Doncaster man to be sentenced for hacking into Facebook accounts

A Doncaster man has pleaded guilty to carrying out ‘unauthorised actions on a computer,’ after he gained access to a number of Facebook accounts through phishing.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 5:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 10:17 am
Hughes pleaded guilty during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court this afternoon

Thomas Hughes, 41, pleaded guilty to the offence during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court this afternoon, when his trial had been scheduled to begin.

Hughes, of Sargeson Road, Armthorpe committed the offence between April 1 and July 31, 2017.

Through his guilty plea, Hughes admitted ‘carrying out a series of acts which he knew to be unauthorised’ through which he ‘obtained Facebook log-in details by phishing and used those accounts to change the passwords’.

Phishing is a cybercrime in which personal data such as login details or bank information are obtained through illegal methods, such as posing as a legitimate organisation to lure individuals into providing sensitive information.

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Hughes also entered not guilty pleas to one charge of unauthorised actions in relation to a computer intentionally causing risk and to another of unauthorised actions in relation to a computer recklessly causing risk.

His not guilty pleas were accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service, meaning a trial will therefore not be sought on these charges.

Judge Rachael Harrison agreed to a request made by Hughes’ barrister, Gordon Stables, for a pre-sentence report, and adjourned sentencing until Friday, November 8 to allow for the report to be prepared.

She told Hughes: “I’m not making any promises as to what your sentence will be. I’m giving you a pre-sentence report because it’s appropriate.

“Don’t read anything into that.”

Hughes was released on bail until his sentencing hearing.