Man, 40, admits tsunami hoax emails

Death notices sent to relatives of missing people

A 40 year-old man today pleaded guilty to sending hoax emails to friends and relatives of British people missing following the Tsunami disaster.

Christopher Pierson, of Ruskington Lincolnshire sent 35 emails purporting to be from the Foreign Office Bureau in Thailand, in which he announced the deaths of missing people. He had obtained the addresses and details of relatives from messages they had posted on the Sky News website.

All the emails were sent from the same address, ukgovfoffice@aol.com. So Pierson, a father of two, would have been very easy to track down. He was arrested yesterday in a joint operation between Metropolitan Police and Lincolnshire Police. Computer equipment was seized.

Pierson pleaded guilty at Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court in London to causing a public nuisance and a charge under Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act.

The confirmed death total of Britons caught in the Tsunami is 40, but several hundred are still missing. The confirmed death total in South Asia is 144,000 and rising daily. ®

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