A fraudster questioned over the alleged hacking of Pippa Middleton’s iCloud account has been jailed after admitting blackmail and using a bank card in the name of his dead stepfather.
Nathan Wyatt was arrested last year by police investigating the hacking of the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister’s account, amid reports pictures of Kate and her children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, were among thousands of images taken.
The father-of-three was released with no further action in relation to that case in September.
Later that month at Southwark Crown Court, Wyatt admitted 20 counts of fraud, one of possessing a false passport, and one count of blackmail in relation to a demand for 10,000 euro from a law firm.
Sentencing him to a total of three years in prison at the same court on Friday, Judge Martin Griffiths said: ‘A rather more sceptical mind would say there was a great deal more to this behaviour than there is in these counts.’
He added: ‘I consider this was a sophisticated piece of offending by you.’
Wyatt’s offences occurred over a period of six months, both before and after he was arrested in relation to the alleged iCloud hack.
They included using credit cards, including in the name of his dead stepfather, to buy items such as hair straighteners, mobile phones, a Nutribullet, Guitar Hero games and a Disney Frozen toy.
Just before Christmas last year the 36-year-old blackmailed a solicitors’ firm, demanding payment of 10,000 euro in bitcoins in an email threat which he signed off ‘Regards, The Dark Overlords’.
Wyatt, of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, had gained login details to the computer system of the firm, located in the north of England, and accessed personal documents including passports and driving licences which he then attached to the first of two threatening emails.
Prosecutor Alison Morgan said: ‘While it may not be possible to prove Mr Wyatt was responsible for the original level of hacking in this case we do know that at a secondary level he gained unauthorised access to at least the solicitors’ firm’s computer.’
In an email sent to the firm and read to the court he wrote: ‘We are ready to now use or sell all of your data on the dark net markets … we make a single offer to you to prevent this data being used or sold to Russian and Chinese buyers.’
Mark Gatley, in mitigation, said his client had used an ‘enormously stupid strategy’ at a time when he felt under pressure to get money for Christmas presents for his children.
Last year the High Court heard that Mrs Matthews, who was then Miss Middleton, had ‘good reason’ to fear that all information held in her iCloud account had been hacked.
Mrs Justice Whipple made orders barring publication of photographs and other material held on the account after Mrs Matthews and her husband, then fiance, James Matthews took civil court action against a ‘person or persons unknown’ as a result of pictures allegedly being taken from the account.