An Isle of Dogs hacker with a taste for gold has been jailed for five years and four months after his theft and blackmail conspiracy was uncovered.

Adam Penny, 25, broke into the computers of a gold bullion trading company and dished out delivery information to his co-conspirators so they could intercept the gold and sell on the proceeds.

Unemployed Penny used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle in the luxury West Tower of Pan Peninsula – and when his need for money grew, he devised a £50,000 blackmail demand against the gold dealers.

The plot was held on a laptop found in the toilet cistern of his showpiece flat in the shadow of Canary Wharf .

He was convicted of conspiracy to steal, unauthorised access to a computer and blackmail at Kingston Crown Court this week. In April he had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and computer misuse.

The court heard that Penny stole the details of customers who had purchased gold and were waiting for it to be delivered. He provided fellow gang members with the information, including the parcel tracking number, and sent them to wait outside the address and have gold deliveries intercepted.

Pan Peninsula

They weren’t always successful. On one occasion they travelled to Newcastle – but the postman knew the victim and refused to hand over the parcel.

The defendants stole, or attempted to steal, six packages with an estimated value of more than £88,000. The stolen gold was then sold to an unsuspecting jeweller in London.

Following Penny’s arrest at his luxury flat in June last year six iPhones and two MacBooks – one in the toilet cistern – were seized. They were found to contain evidence of Penny’s blackmail demands to the company and instructions for his interceptors.

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Det Con Matt Burke, of Scotland Yard’s Cyber Crime Unit, said: “When even this wasn’t enough for his lavish lifestyle, he blackmailed the company for £50,000. At the time of his arrest Penny was living in a luxury apartment in the Canary Wharf area, despite having no paid employment we could identify.”

Det Insp Sanjiv Gohil said: “This case highlights the importance of robust cyber security systems for businesses and particularly those with an on-line presence. In this case the breach was reported to the police and we were able to investigate and bring Penny to justice, without further compromise to the company and their customers.”

The interceptors convicted

Three others were sentenced for conspiracy to steal, for their part in intercepting deliveries of gold. They are:

  • Joshua Wilkins, 25, of Burns Road, NW10 who was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment;
  • Nour Mansouri, 24, of Hanley Rd, N4 who was sentenced to 200 hours community service, and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs;
  • Daniel William Rabbitte, 25, of Stanley Road, Hornchurch, Essex, who was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.