Gordon Ramsay’s father-in-law jailed for hacking chef’s computer system
Chris Hutcheson plotted with his sons Adam Hutcheson and Chris Hutcheson Junior to break into Ramsay’s emails and find financial details.
Gordon Ramsay’s father-in-law has been jailed for six months for hacking the celebrity chef’s company computer system to steal information during a high-profile falling out.
Chris Hutcheson, 69, the father of Ramsay’s wife, Tana, plotted with his sons Adam Hutcheson, 47, and Chris Hutcheson Junior, 37, to break into the restaurateur’s emails and find financial details and other information, some of which ended up in the now defunct News of the World.
The two younger men were both given four month jail terms, suspended for two years.
Jailing Hutcheson Senior at the Old Bailey, Judge John Bevan QC said: “The whole episode of five months amounts to an unattractive and unedifying example of dirty linen being washed in public.”
Hutcheson Senior was involved in a very public falling out with the chef, some of which was aired in legal battles heard at the High Court.
Having been sacked from his role as chief executive of Gordon Ramsay Holdings Ltd, he conspired with his sons, who both had IT roles in the business, to access company systems almost 2,000 times between October 23 2010 and March 31 2011.
This included accessing information regarding Ramsay’s intellectual property rights and other material which might give them the upper hand in their legal spat.
On one day alone in February 2011, the court heard, Hutcheson Senior accessed the system 600 times and Adam Hutcheson 282 times.
Stories about a “hair transplant” and a “fishing trip” later appeared in the newspapers, the court heard.
After their actions were discovered, Hutcheson Senior told his son Chris in an email: “Guess we have been rumbled. Bit late though.”
Prosecutor Julian Christopher QC told the court that after the civil case ended the families had become reconciled and as a result neither Gordon nor Tana supported the criminal prosecution. Neither was in court on Wednesday.
Hutcheson Senior kissed his sons as he was taken away to begin his sentence.
The judge said that despite the seven-figure impact of the civil legal battle between the older man and his famous in-law only immediate imprisonment was appropriate given the seriousness of his crime.
Hutcheson Senior, of Earlsfield, Hutcheson Junior, from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, and Adam Hutcheson, from Sevenoaks, in Kent, admitted conspiring to cause a computer to access programmes and data without authority at a hearing in April.