Judge orders arrest of man accused of cyber attack on Essex firm
PUBLISHED: 16:10 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:22 21 May 2019
A judge has ordered the arrest of a Canadian computer developer who carried out a cyber attack against his former employer in the UK, after the defendant allegedly skipped the country before a scheduled court appearance.
Judge Charles Gratwicke was due to hear a trial of issue to resolve the disputed matters at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday but was told that the defendant boarded a flight from Heathrow Airport four days earlier.
Strukoff, who is Canadian, worked for Experience Engine for five years and was head of IT before he was dismissed in October 2017, an earlier hearing was told.
The attack happened nine days later, Essex Police said, with material remotely deleted and website customers redirected to "graphic pornographic images".
Strukoff admitted the unauthorised modification of computer material and fraud during an earlier hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court.
He had been travelling between Canada and the UK for court hearings, last attending on Wednesday 15.
He had indicated to the court that he planned to travel to Toronto in Canada to attend a developers' conference in relation to his work.
Matthew Morgan, prosecuting, told Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday that passenger records showed Strukoff boarded a flight from Heathrow to Brussels at 6.50am on Friday, and may have been travelling on to Canada.
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Mr Morgan said a supplied medical note "just expanded" on a consultation heard on the day Strukoff was last in court.
He said Strukoff had left the country "deliberately and wilfully".
Gavin Burrell, defending, said Strukoff was due to give evidence as part of the trial of issue.
Judge Gratwicke, issuing a warrant for Strukoff's arrest, said: "As soon as he sets foot in the UK he will be arrested and brought before this court and we will deal with it in those circumstances.
"If someone is prepared to go to Canada to attend a developers' conference, whatever on earth that means, he is quite clearly able to attend here."