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   Dr Mills to specifically review, in a separate report, the evidence

   supporting the prosecution's large damage claim.

  

   Dr Mills stated that one of the police expert witnesses, a British

   Telecom employee, had said that Digital recommended a full rebuild of

   the system at the earliest possible opportunity--and at considerable

   cost. However, the BT expert had not stated that the cost was

   [sterling]250000 nor even mentioned if the cost quote which had been

   given had actually been accepted.

  

   In fact, Dr Mills concluded that there was no supporting evidence at

   all for the quarter of a million pound claim. Not only that, but any

   test of reason based on the evidence provided by the prosecution

   showed the claim to be completely ridiculous.

  

   In a separate report, Dr Mills' stated that:

  

   i) The machine concerned was a Vax 6320, this is quite a powerful

   `mainframe' system and could support several hundreds of users.

  

   ii) That a full dump of files takes 6 tapes, however since the type of

   tape is not specified this gives no real indication of the size of the

   filesystem. A tape could vary from 0.2 Gigabytes to 2.5 Gigabytes.

  

   iii) The machine was down for three days.

  

   With this brief information it is difficult to give an accurate cost

   for restoring the machine, however an over estimate would be:

  

   i) Time spent in restoring the system, 10 man days at [sterling]300

   per day; [sterling]3000.

  

   ii) Lost time by users, 30 man days at [sterling]300 per day;

   [sterling]9000.

  

   The total cost in my opinion is unlikely to be higher than

   [sterling]12000 and this itself is probably a rather high estimate. I

   certainly cannot see how a figure of [sterling]250000 could be

   justified.

  

   It looked to Pad that the prosecution's claim was not for damage at

   all. It was for properly securing the system--an entirely rebuilt

   system. It seemed to him that the police were trying to put the cost

   of securing the polytechnic's entire computer network onto the

   shoulders of one hacker--and to call it damages. In fact, Pad

   discovered, the polytechnic had never actually even spent the

   [sterling]250000.

  

   Pad was hopeful, but he was also angry. All along, the police had been

   threatening him with this huge damage bill. He had tossed and turned

   in his bed at night worrying about it. And, in the end, the figure put

   forward for so long as fact was nothing but an outrageous claim based

   on not a single shred of solid evidence.

  

   Using Dr Mills's report, Pad's barrister, Mukhtar Hussain, QC,

   negotiated privately with the prosecution barrister, who finally

   relented and agreed to reduce the damage estimate to [sterling]15000.

   It was, in Pad's view, still far too high, but it was much better than

   [sterling]250000. He was in no mind to look a gift horse in the mouth.