Gor­don Ram­say’s fa­ther-in-law jailed for hack­ing his email

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GOR­DON Ram­say’s fa­ther-in­law has been jailed for hack­ing into the celebrity chef ’s emails to dig up dirt.

Chris Hutch­e­son, 69, broke into per­sonal files to get back at the TV star af­ter be­ing thrown out of Ram­say’s lu­cra­tive busi­ness em­pire.

Hutch­e­son, whose daugh­ter Tana mar­ried Ram­say in 1996, con­spired with his sons Adam and Chris Jr to ri­fle through the chef ’s ac­counts, search­ing emails and com­pany sys­tems.

Hutch­e­son was jailed for six months, while his sons were given four-month sus­pended sen­tences. Pass­ing sen­tence at the Old Bai­ley, Judge John Be­van said: “The whole episode amounts to an unattrac­tive and uned­i­fy­ing ex­am­ple of dirty linen be­ing washed in pub­lic.

“These emails were un­sur­pris­ingly em­bar­rass­ing, dam­ag­ing and per­son­ally dis­tress­ing to Mr Ram­say.”

Ram­say, 50, once said he and his fa­ther-in-law were in­sep­a­ra­ble, and made him the chief ex­ec­u­tive of his busi­nesses.

For 12 years, they ran Ram­sey’s restau­rants to­gether but in 2010 ten­sions over miss­ing money and se­rial wom­an­is­ing led to Hutch­e­son be­ing fired.

Pros­e­cu­tor Ju­lian Chris- to­pher said: “For a pe­riod of five months fol­low­ing the dis­missal, he ( Hutch­e­son) re­peat­edly ac­cessed the com­pany com­puter net­work for the email ac­counts of Mr Ram­say and Mrs Ram­say and a num­ber of em­ploy­ees of the com­pany in or­der to ob­tain ma­te­rial that might em­bar­rass Mr Ram­say or be use­ful in the on­go­ing dis­pute.”

He said per­sonal items were taken, in­clud­ing pho­tos “pro­vided to the press which led to con­sid­er­able in­tru­sion into the pri­vacy of the fam­ily”.

In Fe­bru­ary 2011, Hutch­e­son hacked the sys­tem 600 times while his son Adam did so 282 times. When they were found out, Hutch­e­son emailed Chris Jr: “Guess we have been rum­bled. Bit late though.”

In April, Hutch­e­son and his sons ad­mit­ted con­spir­ing to un­law­fully ac­cess the com­puter sys­tem of Gor­don Ram­say Hold­ings Ltd and email ac­counts of its em­ploy­ees. Their con­vic­tions come af­ter a se­ries of civil court dis­putes.

Dur­ing a high court bat­tle in 2011, Ram­say ac­cused Hutch­e­son of hack­ing his per­sonal and com­pany files and plun­der­ing £ 1.42 mil­lion to fund a sec­ond fam­ily.

He claimed Hutch­e­son had used com­pany funds to give his mis­tress £5 000 a month, put his wife and son Adam on the pay­roll and wrote him­self £20 000 cheques.

Tana, 42, who has four chil­dren with Ram­say, cut ties with her par­ents af­ter find­ing out her fa­ther had kept his af­fair se­cret from her for 30 years.

Spe­cial­ists found stolen pass­words had been used to ac­cess Ram­say’s files us­ing a com­puter in the base­ment of the com­pany’s head­quar­ters.

Prose­cu­tors be­lieve Hutch­e­son sus­pected Ram­say had leaked a photo of his mis­tress Sara Ste­wart as he hacked into an email called “Sara Ste­wart: De­fence”.

In 2012, the pair reached a £2m truce af­ter set­tling the court claim, but the mat­ter was re­ported to Scot­land Yard.

Judge Be­van said that the Ram­says “no longer sup­port the pros­e­cu­tion”. He added: “The fam­ily’s de­sire to put an end to the con­fronta­tions of the last seven years or so, and seek rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, is to be en­cour­aged.

“The fall­ing out which oc­curred was pro­longed and bit­ter. Doubt­less blame lies in all di­rec­tions. But my fo­cus must be solely on the as­pects of the crim­i­nal of­fence, com­puter mis­use, or hack­ing.” – Daily Mail

Celebrity chef Gor­don Ram­say, with his wife Tana, in­curred the wrath of Josh Hutch­e­son af­ter he fired him.

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