Teenage hacker Ryan Cleary ‘threatened to slit wrists’
Recluse Ryan Cleary faces a ‘death sentence’ if he is extradited to the US over cyber-attack charges
The mother of Ryan Cleary, the British teenager due to appear in court today over a series of cyber-attacks, says he suffers from Emotional Behavioural Disorder and would face a "death sentence" should he be extradited to the US. Rita Cleary told how her 19-year-old son lived life as a virtual recluse and threatened to slit his wrists when she tried to confiscate his computer.
Cleary was today remanded in custody at Charing Cross police station in London for three days. He did not enter a plea and his lawyer told the court he was keen to continue helping the police.
Before he was arrested on Monday as part of a joint Scotland Yard and FBI investigation into the computer hacking group LulzSec, Ryan Cleary had not stepped outside the family home (above) in Essex since Christmas, his mother said. The teenager would only leave his bedroom to use the bathroom, she aded, while meals were left outside his door.
"He was obsessed with the computer and the internet," she told the Daily Mail. "He didn't have a social life and lived through his computer. He would socialise on the internet, he didn't go out at all and didn't really have any friends."
According to his mother, Ryan Cleary threatened to slit his wrists when she said she would take away his computer or cut off the internet.
Rita Cleary said she took these threats seriously, particularly because Ryan had attempted to take his life at the age of 10. Mrs Cleary told the Mail how she had to cut him down and revive him after he tried to hang himself with his dressing gown belt.
Ryan has lived life as a recluse since the age of five when he was excluded from school because of his disruptive behaviour, his mother said. The family spent "thousands of pounds" on psychiatrists after Ryan was diagnosed with Emotional Behavioural Disorder and ADHD when he was seven, she added.
Cleary is charged with five offences against British-based targets under the Computer Misuse Act.
He is charged with attempting a cyber-attack on Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) on Monday, the same day he was arrested. He is also charged with attacks on the British Phonographic Industry and the London-based International Federation of the Phonographic Industry late last year.
In addition, Cleary could face deportation to the US if he is charged with hacking into the CIA and the Senate. Investigators also suspect he may have been involved in LulzSec's attacks on Facebook and Sony.
Cleary's case has parallels with that of Gary McKinnon, the Asberger's sufferer who is currently fighting extradition to the US for hacking into Pentagon and Nasa computers. Extradition would "destroy" her son, Rita Cleary said. "They may as well put the noose around his neck themselves or pass him a cyanide pill. I know he would try to kill himself as he would not be able to handle such a harsh and alien environment." ·
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