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A 40-year old British man was sentenced to six months in prison for sending emails to relatives of people missing after the tsunami disaster.

Chris Pierson, pleaded guilty to charges of malicious communication and causing a public nuisance, according to AFP. Pierson sent more than 35 emails, apparently from the Foreign Office, to worried relatives of people missing after the Boxing Day disaster.

He got contact details from a website set up by Sky news which let people appeal for information about their missing friends and family. The emails, which appeared to come from the Foreign Office in Thailand, claimed to be confirmation that the person missing was in fact dead.

Pierson was tracked down by the police with the help of AOL, his internet service provider. He described his actions as "a moment of madness" and blamed personal tragedy for his actions. He apologized to "everyone I have hurt". ®

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