A man hacked into the till systems of two pubs he formerly managed.

James Murphy was the manager of The Roebuck Inn, Lewes Road, Laughton, near Lewes, and The Barley Mow Inn, Starrs Barn, Polegate, before being asked to leave in November 2022.

Upon leaving it was heard that he threatened to interfere with the till system.

On December 2, 2022, at around 2am, the till systems were remotely accessed and the prices of food and drink were changed or removed and attempts were made to change the floor plans of the pubs.

Once the changes on the tills were identified, the owner of the pubs had to bring in staff to fix the problems and allow the pubs to re-open.

Following an investigation by Sussex and Surrey Police’s South East Cyber Crime Unit, Murphy was located at a pub in Tunbridge Wells.

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A warrant was executed and he was arrested in January 2023. His devices were seized, where evidence was found on his phone and laptop that he logged in and made changes to the pub’s network.

The 25-year-old of Frant Green Road, Frant, Tunbridge Wells, pleaded guilty to unauthorised computer access with intent to commit other offences, and two counts of adapting an article intended to assist in commission of section 1 or 3 of the Computer Misuse offence when he appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on May 13.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £2008.

Detective Sergeant Joel Finney, of the Sussex and Surrey Police’s South East Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Any computer system can be vulnerable to hacking and this can put any business at risk. In this case, we were able to track down the offender and put them before the courts.

“We encourage all businesses and individuals to use strong, unique passwords like three random words on all their accounts and use Multi Factor Authentication and ensure the removal of computer access once an employee resigns or leaves an organisation or business.

“Our Cyber Crime Unit also offers free cyber security training to any community group or small business. If you are interested, email Daniel.Sykes1@surrey.police.uk”