Skip to main content

Six years for a spammer?

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

The 23-year-old is said to have earned more than £100,000 (opens in new tab)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 (opens in new tab), but I have rattled through the town at high velocity on GNER's East Coast rail line (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab), 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...