Plods-turned-gumshoes jailed for hacking operation

Plods-turned-gumshoes jailed for hacking operation
Plods-turned-gumshoes jailed for hacking operation 

By Chris Williams
10th October 2007

Two ex-policemen were jailed today for running a private detective 
agency that tapped phonelines and hacked computers during its 

Former Met officers Jeremy Young, 40, from Ilford in Essex, and Scott 
Gelsthorpe, 33, from Kettering, got 27 months and 24 months respectively 
at Southwark Crown Court today. Their agency was part of a national 
network of gumshoes with police connections that saw three more former 
officers jailed today.

Young and Gelsthorpe started Active Investigation Services (AIS) in 1999 
when Young was on sick leave from the force in Stoke Newington. The pair 
offered to bug cars and break into networks on behalf of clients and to 
steal medical records, bank details and phone records. Gelsthorpe and 
Young hired a US-based hacker to use Trojan attacks against their 
victims, who included Jimmy Choo shoe boss Tamara Mellon.

Police say AIS could have netted Young and Gelsthorpe millions, but the 
exact haul is still being investigated.

The racket was eventually noticed by chance by BT. The telco's own 
investigators filmed an AIS employee tampering with telephone lines and 
then contacted the Met. The police investigation into AIS then uncovered 
a broader abuse of police information.

John Matthews, 60, of Stafford, was a serving officer who illegally 
accessed the Police National Computer on AIS' behalf. He was jailed for 
14 months.

Anthony Wood, 65, also from Stafford, received ten months' jailtime. 
Gary Flanagan, 43, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, got a three-month term. Both 
were former colleagues of Matthews' who were running a separate private 
detective agency in Stoke-on-Trent.

Gordon Bucher, 53, a private investigater from Hereford, who acted as a 
middle man between AIS and Matthews got two months' imprisonment.

The sentences were the result of a huge inquiry led by the Met's 
Anti-Corruption Command. A total of 27 people were arrested and so far 
15 have been convicted.

Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland commented: "It is very disappointing 
when you have police officers acting in this fashion whether they are 
serving or ex-police officers.

"This case involved a national network of private investigators in 
London, Hereford and Staffordshire with police connections which is a 

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