A Greenhead man has admitted ‘industrial sabotage’ after disabling 120 cameras belonging to his former employer.
Anthony Elliott had worked as a camera engineer for Site-Eye.
The firm, based in Top Lands Country Business Park in Cragg Vale, is one of the UK’s leading time-lapse film companies.
Elliott, of Lawrence Road, Marsh, had left the company following an acrimonious dispute.
Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard that on February 23 staff noticed a problem with the filming equipment.
A total of 120 out of the firm’s 200 cameras had been given new script commands so that they were disabled.
The equipment, some of which is outside of the UK, had to be restored by engineers.
Only a few people had knowledge of the password to these, including 33-year-old Elliott.
Police searched his home and various equipment was seized.
They found three computers supporting his own business, offering a similar service to his old firm.
Prosecutor Alex Bozman said that Site-Eye suffered as ‘substantial loss’ of £50,000 as a result of the attack by Elliott.
Elliott admitted a charge of committing unauthorised acts with intent to impair operation of a computer.
District Judge Michael Fanning told him: “You set up in competition with them.
“Using information you had as a result of the employment you were able to disable 120 cameras operated by your previous employer.
“(This was) with a view of damaging their reputation and enhancing (your) business dealing in competition with them.
“This could be called industrial sabotage.”
Elliott was committed to Leeds Crown Court for sentencing on September 9.