A man has been convicted after he put measures into place to stop his former employer from receiving their data and from accessing their accounts.

Lewis Howe, 27, of Abdy Avenue, Dovercourt, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today (Friday, July 10), for one count of causing unauthorised acts with intent to impair the operation of a computer after previously admitting the offence.

Howe worked for a company as an IT professional from June 2017 before being dismissed in October 2018.

In November 2018, the company suffered a cyber-attack, with Howe gaining unauthorised access to the domain controller before deleting key user accounts.

His actions caused disruption to the company for 15 days.

Essex Police's Cyber Crime Team investigated and found evidence on a laptop after searching Howe's address.

Detectives found he had carried out these actions within his own home.

Howe received 10 months in prison, suspended for 24 months, and he will compete 240 hours unpaid work and 30 rehabilitation days.

He has been placed on a six month curfew between 7pm to 7am and he will be electronically monitored.

Howe has also been ordered to pay a victim surcharge and £360 costs.

Detective Sergeant Ian Collins, of Essex Police's Cyber Crime Team said: “Howe planned and calculated his revenge after being dismissed from the company.

“He even bragged about what he had done and the effects it would cause on a chat group.

“These chat logs showed he had no remorse and intended to cause his previous employer’s IT structure some real significant harm.

“What he didn’t realise is that no matter how good he thought he was in hiding his actions and covering his tracks that he would be pursued by my high-skilled team.

“The case officer DC Arran Holmes managed to present all of the complex forensic digital evidence captured and analysed to the court in a way that the court could easily understand - leading to Howe’s guilty plea and his conviction.”