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Thursday, 23 June 2011 10:17

Essex hacker mentally ill, claims his mum

Written by Nick Farell
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Criminal masterminds are not what they used to be
The bloke who UK cops are convinced is the mastermind behind the Lulzsec attacks is mentally ill, claims his mum.

Ryan Cleary has been charged with bringing down the websites of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) as well as attacking the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

But while Lulzsec denies he was one of them, Cleary's mum Rita said that the 19-year-old had suffered mental and emotional problems since early childhood and attempted to take his own life at the age of 10. Ryan was first excluded from school at the age of five and lived as a virtual recluse in his bedroom at the family's bungalow in Wickford, Essex. He left his bedroom only to use the bathroom, Cleary said.

The teenager had been diagnosed with ADHD, agrophobia and Emotional Behaviour Disorder, she added. As a kid he had been “completely fearless” and unable to grasp the consequences of his actions, sometimes jumping into the path of traffic or even starting fires in the house. Mrs Cleary, who has bipolar disorder, herself said that she might have been able to do more to protect her baby,” she said. The teenager’s 22-year-old half brother, Mitchell, told the Daily Telegraph that Ryan was not some kind of criminal mastermind ... he’s just a boy.

What is worrying is that the US will want to extradite him which would result in his death. The case has parallels with that of Gary McKinnon, the Asperger’s sufferer who has been fighting extradition to the US for six years accused of hacking into the Pentagon IT systems.

Karen Todner, Mr McKinnon’s solicitor, said she hoped the Foreign Office would have “learned lessons” from her client’s case, and that Mr Cleary would be dealt with in the UK.


Nick Farell

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