"That doesn''t entitle him to smash the site up, or 'swat' its owners. Bernie Madoff had talent too, should he have been "given" a job in a bank instead of being jailed?"
Totally different situations. Frank Abagnale was committing fraud for years (even flew a plane, he can't fly a plane but he pretended he could). He was eventually caught, what happened to him? Given a job by the government to help them on fraud cases. The bloke hasn't done too badly for himself on the right side of the law since then.
This country has a fetish for punishing kids and young adults for crimes that the judge has absolutely no clue about and that the "victims" are embarrassed by the offender. In this case, the admins who swore blind they secured the site.
Prisons are seen by the public as places to be punished, when actually yes they are there to do time at Her Majesty's pleasure but they're also places to be rehabilitated and integrate the prisoner in to public life afterwards.
The problem though is that once the offender has came out of prison after doing their time, they try and integrate back in to society. They apply for jobs, but because you have to declare criminal convictions they won't get the job because the employer doesn't want an ex-con working for them. So what happens? The offender gets a really thankless job with no hope of improving their situation, or re-offend.
It's insane to ruin a kid or young adults life like this. There are plenty of things I did when I was 18 that 10 years on I would cringe at doing. And it's all well and good saying "Well when I was 18 I knew not to do X or what would happen if I do Y" - fair enough that's you. You aren't the rule.