A 30-year-old Greenwich, London, man is guilty of two counts of voyeurism and three counts of computer hacking. Authorities arrested him and accused him of spying on three women after hijacking their webcams.
Police arrested Andrew Meldrum in November 2012, shortly after a 21-year-old woman contacted police after finding spying software installed on her computer. She told authorities that she suspected Meldrum because he had recently helped her with the computer.
The first victim told another woman, who also knew Meldrum, about the incident. The then 23-year-old also found spyware on her device and contacted the police. The third victim, aged 28, found similar software after the second woman notified her. The third woman also knew the suspect.
In the case of the third woman, the malicious software was on her computer for around 15 months before anyone found it.
The suspect was out on bail until last week’s trial. He faced charges in June 2013.
In addition to the charges for which the court found him guilty, Meldrum ended up found not guilty on one count of theft and one count of voyeurism.
“This was a complex and protracted investigation that involved detailed examination and evaluation of computer files, where crucial evidence was secured,” said DC Nick Pailthorpe, the investigating officer from Southwark Borough CID.
“I would like to thank all witnesses in this investigation but especially the three victims who gave evidence on matters that were clearly of a private, intimate and personal nature to them,” he added.
“I hope that they can take some consolation in the guilty verdict that sends out a clear message to anyone that this type of intrusion into a person’s private life is not acceptable and the Metropolitan Police will support all victims and pursue all suspects.”
Cybercriminals often tap into users’ webcams, in some cases just for fun, while in others with the intent to later blackmail their victims.