AN ISOLATED autistic online gamer who bought malware that could harvest the passwords of other internet users' and then set up a business marketing hacking services has been spared jail.

Leon Street, 28, spent all night on his consoles and slept all day in his bedroom at his mother's home in Latchingdon Gardens, Woodford Green, a judge said.

Known in hackers' chat forums as Professional Hacker and HitManGod, Street sold hacking packages from £8 to £20 a month that could attack websites.

Chelmsford Crown Court was told it was impossible to say how much harm Street had caused during the year he was marketing his flagship product, ‘destressbooter’ but he was said to have sold it to around 1,000 clients.

Street denied securing unauthorised access to computer material between February 17 2011 and May 17 2014 using the notorious software Black Shades to harvest user names and passwords.

He also admitted supplying or offering to supply articles for use between 6 June 2013 and 22 May 2015 relating to stressers or booters believing they would likely be used to assist in the commission of an offence.

His third charge was possessing criminal property between January 21 2014 and December 18 2014, namely £8,829.32 generated through the sale of his services.

Recorder Maryan Sayed imposed an 18 month prison sentence, suspended for two years with a condition that Street carries out 200 hours' unpaid work and complies with a ten-day activity requirement.

She told him: "These are serious matters but I take into account the wealth of material about your autism and that you had retreated from life.

“You are a man of previous good character.

“It's been 18 months and there has been a sea of change in your life."

The court heard that the police raid had woken Street up to what he was doing.

Defending, barrister Senghin Kong said: "He had retreated into the bedroom and spent more time with the online gaming community than in the real world.”

But he also said since last year Street had "come out of his bedroom" and got his first job, as a licensed cabbie, though that was now at risk.

Prosecuting, Kevin Barry said the FBI in America cracked down on Black Shades and handed over intelligence to the UK National Crime Agency.

In May 2014 police raided Street's home for the first time and found he had purchased Black Shades four times since 2011.

The malware functioned as a remote access tool (RAT) to get into other people's computers to harvest their passwords and credentials.

Barry added Street only used data harvested against one person.

Further analysis of his computer equipment by police revealed Street had been actively marketing his services to online buyers and he was re-arrested a year later.

When he was being arrested he said: "Will I go to jail for this?"

Street said he believed his customers were mainly online gamers, but he could not control how the packages he was commercially marketing would be used.

Mr Barry said: “Users of the services would pay online via Paypal.

“His clients included individuals from the UK, Germany, US and Norway.”

He added Street had 29 Paypal accounts and 38 Lloyds Bank accounts through which he laundered the money he received from his business.

He also advertised online to use other people's accounts for which he would pay commission.