Charges of blackmail against TalkTalk hacker Daniel Kelley are dropped

A man at the centre of a large-scale attack of telecommunications company, TalkTalk, has had a charge of blackmail dropped, a BBC report recently revealed.

In 2016, 21-year-old Daniel Kelley pleaded guilty in the face of 11 charges, including his part in a cyber-attach that saw the personal data of over 150,000 TalkTalk customers stolen.

Mr Kelley who comes from Llanelli, Carmarthenshire was due to appear before the Old Bailey for allegedly issuing an “unwarranted demand for a quantity of bitcoins.” However, the Crown Prosecution Service has blackmail charge has since been dropped, with prosecutor Peter Ratliff telling the court that it would not be in the public interest to proceed to a trial.

The view came following the court hearing that Kelley had been suffering from depression during critical periods leading up to and during the occurrence of the alleged crimes.

Mr Kelley had been pencilled in to be sentenced at the conclusion of the blackmail trial, but he will now be sentenced on 25th February.

The wranglings date back to October 2015 when around 157,000 customers of TalkTalk had their personal data stolen. Among the pieces of sensitive information taken by a criminal element were bank details and email addresses, in a breach that the telecom firm subsequently revealed had cost £42m.

Mr Kelley was also involved in around six further cases of hacking organisations, one of which was the Welsh FE college, Coleg Sir Gar, where he had previously studied.

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