Expensive joke with foreign email account

Just out of fun and curiosity, a Spanish student had made rough mischief with the Hotmail account of a former colleague using the password she knew

When you get to know each other in your studies and become friends, a more or less rough trust develops. It is possible that one of them has got the password for the computer or the mail account of the other one. At least this was the case with two Spanish students. But then, after they parted ways, one of them got ideas – and got herself two years in prison on probation for spying out secrets.

It should probably be a deterrent judgment. Because a young woman knew the password for accessing the Hotmail account of a former fellow student and made some uble jokes with it, the 28-year-old in Barcelona has now been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on probation and a fine of exactly 26.886.20 euros. The prosecution and defense had agreed to spare the young woman a prison sentence, but the Ministry of Finance had demanded 5 years in prison, the law firm Bufet Almeida on behalf of the victim even 7 years.

The young woman was found guilty of unauthorized access to the Hotmail account from her computer in November 2001 and of sending compromising e-mails with the name of her ex-colleague. This also included some mails with insults to the boss of this ex-colleague. Zudem hatte sie zum Schluss die vorhandenen Mails und das Adressbuch geloscht. According to the judge, all this had caused psychological damage to the victim.

It took until February 2002 to find the perpetrator. She admitted everything, but said she had only done it as a joke and out of curiosity. This is now costing her dearly, however, because she has to pay the 27.000 euros in damages because, despite psychological treatment, she still suffers from post-traumatic stress and reacts to the emotionally very stressful incident with "with fear, despair, difficulty concentrating, nervousness, and increased vigilance, as a forensic …" As a forensic expert explained in court. In addition, professional reputation had been damaged.

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