A TEENAGER has admitted hacking Cheshire Police and Greater Manchester Police’s websites in a revenge attack after he was jailed for a bomb hoax.

Liam Watts, previously of Grange Avenue in Latchford, was handed eight months behind bars in 2017 after calling up security at a town centre apartments complex on Mersey Street – purporting to be a police officer and claiming that an explosive device had been left in the building.

Yesterday, Thursday, the 19-year-old admitted causing the Cheshire and Greater Manchester force websites to crash during a cyber attack – as well as that of the Cheshire police and crime commissioner – in revenge for his conviction.

During two separate incidents in August last year and on Friday, March 22, Watts used software tools to overload the websites and cause a 24-hour malfunction – meaning that the public could not access the sites or report minor crimes and contact officers.

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He then claimed responsibility for the attacks in a series of tweets under the identity Synic.

The Twitter account was traced back to Watts, and he was arrested at his home in Chorley four days after the second attack.

Ursula Doyle, of Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Watts appears to have been motivated by revenge for a previous conviction, but, in fact the people who were primarily inconvenienced were the thousands of members of the public who use the websites to contact police, or access the websites for help: that service was temporarily disabled.

“There is little doubt that Watts has considerable computer and IT skills and knowledge, but these were put to criminal use to damage and disable computer systems which are relied upon by the public for help, and by the police whose job it is to help them.”

Watts had previously targeted the Verve on Mersey Street in May 2017, with the building having to be evacuated after his bomb hoax - which came only days after the Manchester Arena terrorist attack.

The convicted robber this week admitted two offences under the Computer Misuse Act at Chester Crown Court.

He will be sentenced back at the same court in June.