I came across a story about a twenty-something year old male who setup a fake website in order to 'phish' for usernames and passwords for a popular game.

After acquiring the credentials he would then login in to these accounts and remove the in-game currency and transfer it over to his own account.

After a number of years he was finally found out after admitting to friends what he had done.

He was found guilty in court, even though the last time he did it was around 6 years ago.


I'm curious as to how this would play out in the UK. I believe the act would be covered under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, but i am un-sure if there would be a time limit for a trial under the Limitations Act 1980.


My question is how long would it take for this offence to 'expire' and no longer be punishable under UK law?

If I am misunderstanding the limitation act please let me know.

  • Does no one know the answer to this?
    – Terry
    May 13, 2016 at 8:48
  • 1
    What you want to look at, I believe, is called a "statute of limitations".
    – moonman239
    May 18, 2016 at 8:06
  • Thanks, moonman. I did look that up but I wasn't sure where the crime actually fitted.
    – Terry
    May 18, 2016 at 8:35

1 Answer 1


The offences found in the Computer Misuse Act 1990 are criminal offences. The Limitations Act 1980 deals with civil offences and is thus not relevant. Apparently, there is no general statute of limitations for criminal offences in the UK (though for summary proceedings, the limit is in general 6 months).

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