back to article Brit bomb hoax teen who fantasised about being a notorious hacker cops 3 years in jail

A teenage bomb hoaxer from Watford who taunted the UK's National Crime Agency on Twitter while pretending to be a hacker crew called Apophis Squad has been jailed for three years. George Duke-Cohan, 19, from the village of Garston, near Watford, just north of London, previously pleaded guilty to making three bomb hoaxes, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not very PC to say, but

    The word Nutter still has a usage case

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: It's not very PC to say, but

      I shall NOW write a naughty limerick about this using the word 'nutter'

      There was a young 'Nutter' from Watford

      ...

      ok what rhymes with 'Watford' ?

      1. gypsythief

        Better late than never:

        There was a young nutter from Watford,

        Who tried to wrangle a bot hoard.

        He's been sent to the clink,

        With na'ery a blink,

        His hacking career has not soared!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Better late than never:

          You see a rhyme for "Watford" isn't needed.

          Near Watford there lived a sad sack

          Who thought that he knew how to hack

          His numerous hoaxes

          Annoyed lots of folkses

          He'll find prison a tough crib to crack.

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: It's not very PC to say, but

      My supervisor in abnormal psychology said that (at the time) many psychiatrists and psychologists used the word "nutter" because (a) mental illness is surprisingly poorly defined and (b) nutter sounds a lot less judgmental than "mentally ill" or "psychotic."

  2. SMITCH79

    Only one thing to say . . .

    Good.

    1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

      teen who fantasised . . .

      to fantasise is a normal part of growing up, however this fuckwit seems to have not figured out that the truly notoroius in 'Haxxor' circles are not truly known, and would far rather they remain forever in the shadows so that none shall either stop nor discover them

      the reality being that to be known, is to be no longer either notorious or any damn good :o)

      think of spys, once their cover is gone, their 'job' is gone too, unless they are called Bond, James Bond of course :oP

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: teen who fantasised . . .

        In October 2017 the college's website experienced a so-called 'denial of service' attack for which you were identified as the perpetrator. Whilst still on that course on 31st January 2018, the college received a bomb threat

        So his career as a master criminal got off to a good start by him demonstrating that he doesn't understand the phrase "don't shit where you eat". Genius.

  3. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Don't mess

    with the Tau'ri.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't mess

      Or T'Pau.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Don't mess

        Or T'Pau.

        The 80's singer with big hair? (not a very helpful descriptor)

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "You accept responsibility for the hoaxes and claim that you are a psychopath with a history of killing small animals,"

    That behaviour doesn't bode well, I think he will return to prison or be detained at HM pleasure at some future date.

    1. Steven Raith

      Nah, more likely he claimed that as 'justification' for his behaviour - claiming insanity, etc; the actual psychologist determined ASD instead.

      Basically, however, that doesn't ago him from being a manipulative little shit hawk with a penchant for attention seeking based on his potted history listed by the beak....

      Steven R

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I would have called him out on that if I was the judge and sent him to a mental institution. If what he says is true then prison isn't going to help and if it's not I'm pretty sure a stint in a prison mental institution would make him think twice about doing anything like that again.

      1. streaky Silver badge
        Devil

        If he is he should be in Broadmoor or Rampton. See if he still thinks he's clever after a few weeks there.

        1. Pete4000uk

          He'll learn a new meaning to the word 'Bitch'

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If he is he should be in Broadmoor or Rampton.

          He's from Garston, he wouldn't notice. The article describes this as a village near Watford. Knowing the area rather well, I'd describe Garston as a ghastly urban dump sandwiched between the A41 and the M1, and anybody using the term "village" is deluded.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            He's from Garston

            My old school moved to Garston.....

            Nick Leeson was amongst the first new intakes there

            All downhill from Bethnal Green days

        3. rmason Silver badge

          My mum used to work at Rampton.

          Any suggestion that people plead insanity for an easy ride would be gone by lunchtime on day #1

          It's not politically correct to call them "Prison Hospitals" any more, so they changed the name, but that's precisely what they are.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Chubby Chuckles

      "You accept responsibility for the hoaxes and claim that you are a psychopath with a history of killing small animals,"

      Will look good on future resume though

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Will look good on future resume though"

        Ok Google.

    4. TVU Silver badge

      ""You accept responsibility for the hoaxes and claim that you are a psychopath with a history of killing small animals,"

      That behaviour doesn't bode well, I think he will return to prison or be detained at HM pleasure at some future date"

      I actually think that aspect is really disturbing. While the perpetrator was given a 3 year sentence, in practice in the UK it means that he'll be out again in in 18 months.

      I think I'd have preferred to see him be referred to some specialist, secure mental health treatment unit because that would probably be more effective in stopping poor conduct because the very last thing this planet needs right now is yet more adult psychopaths on the loose.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I actually think that aspect is really disturbing. While the perpetrator was given a 3 year sentence, in practice in the UK it means that he'll be out again in in 18 months."

        I always assumed that the 50% time served was not automatic, but apparently for fixed term sentences of under 4 years, it is. Unless he gets up to some fairly serious bad behaviour inside, then yes, he will serve a maximum of 18 months minus time spent inside on remand. That's really not very long considering the amount of disruption and damage caused and the large number of victims.

        1. Matthew Anderson

          Less

          He may be eligible for early release under home detention curfew (tagged) which will be for 3 months prior to half his term being completed. So 15 months total inside most likely.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      actually that bit about claiming to be 'a psychopath with a history of killing small animals' almost sounds like something from a Monty Python sketch...

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        something from a Monty Python sketch...

        it was...well, close enough

        "strangling animals, golf and masterbating" - Hobbies of a Contestant on the Seaside Summarised Proust Competition

    6. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

      All of this sounds rather like the fool has looked up a check list of some of the more notorious serial killers (of humans) and is busy working his way down the list.

      History of killing small animals: check.

      History of poor impulse control: check.

      History of sociopathy and difficulty interacting with people: check.

      Prison sentences for assorted petty crimes: check.

      This man needs to be on the list of potentially dangerous individuals and ought to be ordered on pain of a fairly long prison sentence to always tell the police where he is living.

  5. Danny 2 Silver badge

    "His computers and devices were ordered to be destroyed"

    When did courts start euthanising electronics?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When Windows 10 achieves sentience. We're all doomed to life as a service.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      "His computers and devices were ordered to be destroyed"

      When did courts start euthanising electronics?

      They've been doing the same to cars for ages, even ones that are road-worthy.

      Not really environmentally friendly or pro recycling.

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        @Teiwaz

        Why can't we bid on his devices yet we can buy a gunman's gutties?

        Gunman's designer trainers up for auction

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-46493486

        1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

          The irony is, the gunmans buddy will probably buy it all back from the police auction and later break him out of prison during the transport. I'm sure the outsourced G4S guards will risk their lives to stop it.

          Can you sense the sarcasm?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          True. Such a waste. If anything, destroy the hard drive or secure wipe it. Then the rest can be sold as parts of a shell of a PC with no drive. Its a waste crushing it so it can end up in land fill.

          But then the police don't make sense. Like sussex police doing talks on security yet using a cert on their own site that has been deemed untrusted by the likes of Google, as all Symantec certs were deemed compromised. Although only appears to be Chrome on the desktop that says its insecure, its deemed secure on chrome mobile. Nice of Google to be consistent.

  6. The Wild Tomcat

    C'mon, give the lad a break. What else is there to do in Watford, which I hear is a very dull place?

    1. Jess--

      with grey monotonous skies that go on for a bit if memory serves (not followed link)

    2. JLV Silver badge

      not the greatest video, music or vid-wise. and kinda mean-spirited to boot.

  7. Sleep deprived
    Happy

    "...and your motivation of seeking notoriety"

    He's now had his pic in El Reg. Check.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "...and your motivation of seeking notoriety"

      watching the bodycam video of the arrest on the Beeb website, he really didn't seem all that bothered about what was going on.

  8. LDS Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "is an insult to the many thousands of sufferers who lead law abiding lives"

    Hats off!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: "is an insult to the many thousands of sufferers who lead law abiding lives"

      eh, AD[H]D, autism spectrum, and other things like that, MOST of the time, are just 'another word' for 'genius'. Or an excuse for bad behavior, as was attempted here. Yeah I think the psycho-babblers have gone too far with their definitions (which detracts from the few who actually need some kind of treatment).

      They forgot that, to a hammer, EVERYTHING is a nail. They see 'disorders' where 'a slightly different NORMAL' exists.

      /me recalls that one guy claiming ADD made him do bad things in Singapore, and got 'caned' as punishment for it. Obviously Singapore criminal justice system didn't buy it. AND, I bet he won't do that AGAIN, either.

      1. AdamWill

        Re: "is an insult to the many thousands of sufferers who lead law abiding lives"

        "/me recalls that one guy claiming ADD made him do bad things in Singapore, and got 'caned' as punishment for it. Obviously Singapore criminal justice system didn't buy it. AND, I bet he won't do that AGAIN, either."

        Per https://data.gov.sg/dataset/recidivism-rate , Singapore's recidivism rate is around 28%, so there's apparently about a 1 in 4 chance he'll do it again.

        "eh, AD[H]D, autism spectrum, and other things like that, MOST of the time, are just 'another word' for 'genius'."

        Er...no, really, they're not. See, I can tell you this, cos I'm definitely *not* on the spectrum, but I definitely *am* a genius. I had it checked.

  9. Chozo
    Devil

    Matrix 101

    This is why you start with OpSec and all the major boring training sh#t before you learn KungFu

  10. Bibbit

    Having a diagnosed medical condition is not a guarantee of not being a twat. Luton prisons are lovely this time of year.

  11. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  12. DavCrav Silver badge

    He's not a psychopath, he's just a twat.

    1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

      A twat psychopath?

      They do exist!

      Just visit any CEO office

  13. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    Tagged and tracked

    This kid has clearly shown he has an ego problem

    The fact he has admitted to having sociopathic traits is worrying, but hardly surprising in the modern world where numbers are increasing. Strange isn't it? if you reward lying and cheating, they go onto procreate and spawn more liars and cheaters. So I do think the 3% estimate needs to be re-evalued

    I suspect that when he is released, he won't have learnt from the mistakes, will actually want revenge and will go onto repeat. I hope I am proven wrong, but let me tell you one really important thing about a loser sociopath, they fucking hate it, being a loser and will do anything, literally, the sky is not even the limit, "anything", to rectify the damage to their fragile ego

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tagged and tracked

      I hope I am proven wrong, but let me tell you one really important thing about a loser sociopath, they fucking hate it, being a loser and will do anything, literally, the sky is not even the limit, "anything", to rectify the damage to their fragile ego

      And we have proof residing in the Ecuadorian Embassy

  14. Mike 125

    Context is everything.

    "...a history of killing small animals..."

    Bernard Matthews Farms has a very similar history.

  15. Greencat

    I suspect...

    His claims of a history of killing small animals and psychopathy are as much part of his fantasy as his elite hacker attempts ie lame fiction. The guy's watched too many episodes of Dexter and CSI.

    He's a silly kid with likely poor social skills living in a fantasy who took it too far basically. Hopefully, a short bout of porridge will break him out of it. The sad thing is that even if it does, it's probably screwed his chances of a normal life afterwards.

    1. AdamH

      Re: I suspect...

      ...... I came to the same conclusion by the end of the article.

      I suspect he's in line to experience a severe bout of reality in prison!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I suspect...

      Hopefully with a friendly Fletcher type character to look after him.

  16. DrBobK

    Garston

    "village of Garston" - unbelievable! I grew up in Watford. Garston isn't a village, its the bit of north Watford that is near(wish) junction 6 of the M1. It is horrible. I'm not surprised that a nerd from Garston is also a psychopath who enjoys killing small animals. Probably more fun than any entertainment Garston offers. (ps I haven't lived in Watford for decades but I know it very well)

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Garston

      I have to agree tbh (relatives used to live in Watford proper, then moved to Garston, then rather speedily moed out again).

      That said, on a Friday afternoon when this article was the only thing standing between me and the pub, finding a way to describe a sub-division of a town which is analogous to a suburb wasn't massively high on the agenda.

  17. Kaltern

    Batman

    He'd make a fairly interesting Batman villian.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Batman

      He'd make a fairly interesting Batman villian.

      A tad too realistic a villian for Batman, to be fair (and I'm a fan) all of the Batman villians are the product of a deranged imagination, very weird as Batman himself is one of the most down to earth and realistic of heros.

  18. Big Al 23

    It's a start

    He may need psycho therapy to get him in touch with reality. A lot of people suffered from his actions and a lot of expense was incurred. If he had to pay treble damages over the next 20 years it may be a reminder of why it's not cool to do the things he did.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The scariest thing is

    Consider if, for whatever reason, you had your guilt and morality switch turn off, and then acquired a target to destroy. Anyone of us.

    In one of my previous positions we used to run through these type of what-if's, and mine were always the ones that made everyone else say "You are one scary individual"

    Never had a desire to do in small animals, but my switch is still in the acceptable position, right?.

    There but for the grace of $deity and all that...

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