Arrested: internet king who spent, spent, spent

Katherine Griffiths,Liz Vaughan-Adams
Saturday 06 September 2003 00:00

An ebullient City entrepreneur who made £30m from the sale of his internet company was arrested at Belgravia police station in London yesterday.

Cliff Stanford, founder of Demon Internet, is understood to have been questioned about his connection with George Liddell, a technology expert alleged to have hacked into the e-mails of John Porter, son of Dame Shirley Porter. Mr Stanford and Mr Porter used to be business partners.

The incident is the latest humiliation for a man who was one of the leading lights of the internet revolution with his company, Demon Internet, which was sold to Scottish Power for £66m in 1998.

Mr Stanford was as famous for his ability to spend money as he was for making it. He is well known for his fondness for private jets, going out with beautiful women and eating at London's finest restaurants. There are rumours that he has spent much of his fortune.

Mr Stanford and Mr Porter, son of the former leader of Westminster City Council, fell out spectacularly. Mr Stanford hired Mr Liddell to dig out as many embarrassing details on Mr Porter and the board as possible.

Mr Stanford confirmed he had been arrested, but said the move was a "technicality" because his lawyer had advised him not to be interviewed unless he was arrested.

A police spokesman said a man was arrested in connection with possible breaches of the Computer Mis-Use Act. He was bailed to reappear at the police station next month.

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