Attorney-General’s Reference (No 1 of 1991): CACD 16 Jun 1992

cw Crime – Computer misuse – Unauthorised access – Person using one computer to obtain from it unauthorised benefit – Whether unauthorised use of single computer within statute – ‘Access to any program or data held in any computer.
The defendant was accused of misusing computer access to put himself in a position to carry out a fraud. The judge held that the section required more than one computer to have been involved. The court was asked to answer whether this was the case.
Held: The charge under section 1(1)(a) of using ‘a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer,’ did not require the misuse of one computer to access another. Section 1(1) could be satisfied by causing a computer to perform a function with intent to secure unauthorised access to any program or data held in the same computer.


Lord Taylor of Gosforth CJ, Macpherson of Cluny and Turner JJ


[1993] QB 94




Computer Misuse Act 1990 1(1)(a) 2(1)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedHolmes v Governor of Brixton Prison and Another Admn 20-Aug-2004
The applicant sought his release from imprisonment where he awaited extradition to Germany. He was suspected of an offence of deception. He said there was insufficient evidence that the offence alleged would be an offence here. The alleged offence . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Evidence

Updated: 28 July 2022; Ref: scu.177325