Essex

Accused 'flees UK' ahead of Essex cyber-attack court hearing

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Image caption Strukoff was sacked by Experience Engine in October 2017 and carried out a cyber attack nine days later

A computer developer who carried out a cyber-attack on his former employer is wanted for allegedly fleeing the UK before a court appearance.

Canadian national Evan Strukoff, 32, had admitted two charges relating to the attack on Experience Engine in Great Baddow, Essex, but disputed the severity of their impact on the firm.

Strukoff was sacked in October 2017.

A judge heard he had boarded a flight from Heathrow Airport on Friday and ordered his arrest.

A trial of issue was due to be heard to resolve the disputed matters but prosecutor Matthew Morgan told Chelmsford Crown Court Strukoff had left the country "deliberately and wilfully".

An earlier hearing was told Strukoff had worked at the company for five years before his dismissal.

The attack happened nine days after he was sacked, Essex Police said, with material remotely deleted and website customers redirected to "graphic pornographic images".

Arrest warrant

Strukoff admitted charges of unauthorised modification of computer material and fraud and had been travelling between Canada and the UK for court hearings, last attending on 15 May.

That day, he had indicated to the court that he planned to travel to Toronto to attend a developers' conference in relation to his work.

Passenger records showed Strukoff boarded a flight from Heathrow to Brussels at 06:50 BST on Friday, and may have been travelling on to Canada, Mr Morgan told Tuesday's hearing.

Gavin Burrell, defending, said Strukoff was due to give evidence as part of the trial of issue.

Judge Gratwicke, issuing a warrant for Strukoff's arrest, said: "As soon as he sets foot in the UK he will be arrested and brought before this court and we will deal with it in those circumstances.

"If someone is prepared to go to Canada to attend a developers' conference, whatever on earth that means, he is quite clearly able to attend here."

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