POLICE have urged people who fear they may have been the victim of "cyber spying" to contact police - after a St Helens man was jailed for two years.

As the Star reported last week, Scott Cowley, 27, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty to offences contrary to the Computer Misuse Act and Sexual Offences Act.

Cowley, of Bedford Street, Parr, installed malware on the computers of three women so he could take control of their webcams to secretly watch them.

He purchased Imminent Monitor Malware and used it to infect the computers of his innocent victims.

This enabled him to take control of their web cameras which he then used to spy on them.

Detective Sergeant Steve Frame, from the NWROCU, said Cowley used "highly technological methods to obtain private videos and images of innocent victims for his own sexual gratification".

Now detectives are urging anyone who fears they may have been the victim of a similar crime, or suspect somebody is involved in committing cyber spying to report it to their local police force.

St Helens Star:

Scott Cowley

DS Frame added: "This conviction demonstrates that despite the high tech nature of the Cyber Crime, offenders have no place to hide.

"We take all reports of cyber crime seriously and are absolutely committed to tackling and undermining this evolving threat.

"If you have been the victim of a similar crime, or suspect somebody is involved in committing this type of crime please call 101.”

Cowley was arrested on November 25, 2019 following an international operation involving eight countries, which targeted purchasers of the Imminent Monitor Remote Access Trojan (IM RAT).

Following his arrest, specialist officers seized Cowley’s computer equipment from his bedroom and found the Imminent Monitor malware, as well as a series of folders containing the recordings of his victims.

Cowley is also subject to a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, and a 10-year Sexual Offender Notification requirement.