Six years for a spammer?

I must confess to being gobsmacked to learn that British spammer Peter Francis-Macrea, aka Weaselboy, had been jailed for six years for deceptive practices.

The 23-year-old is said to have earned more than £100,000 a week by selling bogus .eu domain names from his old man's house in St. Neots, Cambridgeshire.

Now, I've never been to St. Neots, but I have rattled through the town at high velocity on GNER's East Coast rail line, and have surmised that it's a bit of a posh place - hence the double-barrelled surname of the 23-year-old in question.

Yes, I am in inverse snob, before you ask.

Francis-Macrea was found guilty at Peterborough Crown Court of doing a lot more than spamming, however. Apparently he spammed companies offering them .eu domain names before they were even available from the regulatory bodies concerned.

The 23-year-old was convicted of practices that included fraudulent trading, concealing criminal property, threatening to destroy or damage property, blackmail, and making death threats.

He managed to get away with - allegedly - more than a million quid in his escapades and, police claim, he has refused to reveal where he has hidden £1.1 million from his scams.

Even though the guy reportedly spent his dosh on designer clothes and helicopter lessons, I still don't agree with his harsh sentence.

The reason is that I am aware of murder cases where the convicted person has gone to prison for five years - a year less than Francis- Macrea.

He's been a bad lad, no doubt about that. But is is his crime up there alongside murder? I don't think so...