Published: 17:00, 07 June 2017 |
Updated: 17:55, 07 June 2017
Gordon Ramsay's estranged father-in-law showed no emotion as he was jailed for hacking into the celebrity chef's emails to dig up dirt in a bitter business dispute.
Chris Hutcheson, 69, carried out the conspiracy with his sons Adam, 47 and from Sevenoaks, and Chris Hutcheson Jr, 37, after he was sacked from a senior role at Gordon Ramsay Holdings Ltd.
They hacked emails thousands of times between October 2010 and March 2011 to gather evidence that could be used against Mr Ramsay in the bitter dispute.
"The whole episode over five months amounts to an unattractive and unedifying example of dirty linen being washed in public." - Judge John Bevan QC
On March 18, Mr Ramsay's solicitors received a letter complaining he had been in breach of his legal undertaking not to distribute the photograph.
He knew he had not sent it, so instructed an IT consultant, who traced the IP addresses and the hacking plot was revealed.
Sentencing the trio, Judge John Bevan QC said: "The family's desire to put an end to the confrontations of the last seven years or so, and seek reconciliation, is to be encouraged.
"And I note that Mr and Mrs Ramsay no longer support the prosecution.
"The falling out which occurred was pro-longed and bitter. But the rights and wrongs of that are no concern of this court.
"Doubtless blame lies in all directions. But my focus must be solely on the aspects of the criminal offence, computer misuse, or hacking."
He added: "By seeking deliberately to get Mr Ramsay into serious trouble, and of itself demonstrates the gravity of what was going on.
"These emails were unsurprisingly embarrassing, damaging and personally distressing to Mr Ramsay.
"The whole episode over five months amounts to an unattractive and unedifying example of dirty linen being washed in public."
Referring to Chris Snr, he said: "I take the view the case is simply too serious in his case to allow me to suspend."
Chris Jr, of Welwyn Garden City, Herts, and Adam, of Sevenoaks made no reaction as they walked out of the dock, while their father, of Battersea, south London, also showed little reaction
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