A British telephone phreaker who ran up £106,000 worth of free telephone calls through a Nicaraguan telephone exchange, narrowly avoided prison Monday when he was given a 2 year suspended sentence at Southwark Crown Court.
The court heard that 20-year-old Paul Spiby used his considerable cunning to make free global telephone calls from his bedroom over a period of six months without British Telecom batting an eyelid.
Spiby repeatedly called an automated telephone exchange in Nicaragua and, using computer generated tones, fooled it into assuming he had just finished an international call. In fact Spiby was still on the line and able to call anywhere in the world for free.
Despite running up a huge phone bill, Spiby could not receive a prison sentence because he had destroyed incriminating evidence when the police finally called at his house.
The judge ruled that Spiby's computer equipment should be confiscated.