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A woman who admitted rifling through emails in AOL accounts maintained by her former employer, Nannies Inc, while working for a competitor agency, has been fined £500 plus £60 costs.

Susan Holmes, 36, of Beckenham in Kent, pleaded guilty to unauthorised access to a computer (contrary to section one of the Computer Misuse Act 1990) at a hearing at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court last Friday (15 February).

Nannies Inc uses an AOL account to handle registration forms. A marked drop off in emails sent to that account between January and March 2007 led to suspicions that something was amiss.

Analysis of the connection logs from AOL found several connections from a suspect IP addresses, later traced back to Holmes. Although Holmes left Nannies Inc five months previously she was still reading company email, a breach made possible by the child care agency's failure to change email passwords following her exit.

Holmes was arrested in October following an investigation by officers at the Specialist Computer Crime Unit at Scotland Yard. ®

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