IT warning follows porn case

EAST Anglian law firm Birketts is warning others to beware after its IT manager admitted running an internet porn racket from the firm's office.

The 20-partner commercial firm, based in Ipswich, discovered the activities of Andrew Croft after he had been with the firm for two and a half years.

Croft pleaded guilty to two charges of publishing adverts on the internet offering indecent photographs of children, 11 counts of possessing indecent pictures of children and nine counts of having an obscene article for publication for gain. He denied three counts of theft of computer equipment from Birketts.

He had earned tens of thousands of pounds from running his own pornographic website, which he did in work time.

Birketts managing partner Bob Wright says: “This is a lesson to others that employing IT people can be dangerous. You need to make sure they are not the only ones with knowledge of passwords and can't conceal things.”

Wright says the firm has implemented changes and now has four IT employees so control of passwords and access is shared.

“Immediately after Croft's dismissal, we introduced controls to ensure that relevant knowledge is not in one person's control,” says Wright.

Croft was released on conditional bail until 31 March when he will be sentenced.