Paul Dixon appeared at Newcastle Crown Court today, where he received a suspended sentence of two-years' and ordered to pay £200 after previously admitting five counts of unauthorised modification of computer material after he hacked the websites of British Airways and several Police Stations.

Paul Dixon, 24, was caught as a result of his posts on social media.  He made no financial gain from the offending and it appears he committed the offences in order to boast on his social media accounts.

Sarah Wood, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Dixon used Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which swamp a target website with an overwhelming stream of requests for access, causing the site to work very slowly or to shut down completely.

The origin of such attacks is normally hard to trace, Recorder John Aitken was told, but Dixon was caught by Police following his tweeting about his offending.

Ms Wood said: "He could not resist boasting about his activities online on his Twitter account."

"Indeed, this appears to be the sole motivation behind his actions."

The attack on British Airways happened on 26 October and lasted 68 minutes and would have cost BA approximately £100,000. 

Durham Police investigated and traced Dixon after searching Twitter for messages about the attacks.

Recorder Aitken told Dixon his offending was "simply to boost your own ego".

Sarah is an experienced and highly accomplished practitioner who specialises in criminal and family matters involving high-value assets and complex financial arrangements.