A former BT engineer was today given a community service order after admitting fraudulently tapping into people's phone lines, police said.
Peter Creese, 44, of Countesthorpe, Leicestershire, previously pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the Telecommunications Act.
After a joint investigation by Leicestershire Constabulary and British Telecom, he was today sentenced to a two-year community service order and ordered to complete 180 hours unpaid work at Leicester Crown Court, police said.
A spokeswoman said Creese's offences only came to their attention after local people approached a police officer at a surgery meeting.
They were concerned premium rate telephone calls were showing up on their telephone bills.
Some people affected by the calls were subsequently billed and ended up having their supply cut off, police said.
Former BT engineer Creese was charged with the offences, which took place between 2006 and 2009, in October last year.
Due to the number of victims the case was committed to Leicester Crown Court, the spokeswoman said.
Detective Constable Henry Henderson, who investigated the offences, today said: "This was a lengthy and complex investigation involving the police and British Telecom.
"Creese used his knowledge with no regard for the effect it may have on the people involved.
"Hopefully this will deter other people who may be considering committing similar crimes to think again."Reuse content