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“There would be guards running from one line to the other and you had to dodge them – that was quite good fun,” says Love.At primary school, Love was given one-on-one tuition because, he says, “there was nothing left to teach me on the curriculum”.Love’s first thought was for his parents, Alexander, a Baptist minister and chaplain at nearby Highpoint prison, and Sirkka-Liisa, a teacher.“Most Christian people have only had positive experiences with the police and have not had a house ransacked, so I didn’t want them to be too distressed and upset,” says Love.Three years later, Love, now 31 years old, faces extradition to the US and a possible 99-year prison sentence.Indictments filed in New York, the Eastern District of Virginia and New Jersey accuse Love of breaking into computer systems belonging to US government agencies, including the FBI, the Federal Reserve Bank and the Missile Defense Agency.It was Love’s skill at computers that brought him into conflict with the college’s head of computing.Bored with the limitations of Microsoft Windows, one day Love decided to install Cygwin, a software tool that would allow him to write programs using the Unix operating system.

Love’s father told Westminster Magistrates’ Court in June 2016 that he was in no doubt his son would take his own life if he was sent to the US. “I remember in primary school walking around in blue funks back in the playground, almost like there was a distance between me and other people, feeling that nobody cared about me, that nobody understood or appreciated me, everybody else was happy and enjoying themselves,” he says.His mind went into overdrive as he tried to look after his parents, while also making sure the police read him his rights, cautioned him and did not ask questions they were not legally entitled to ask.“They asked me questions about my computer and encryption and whether I would give them the unlock code for my phone, which they shouldn’t really do,” says Love.He learned about databases and how to write programs in Logo, a graphical language that allowed children to program turtles to move around a screen.Love enjoyed drawing geometric patterns and, for a youngster who found holding a pen awkward, Logo was an amazing tool.

Love’s father told Westminster Magistrates’ Court in June 2016 that he was in no doubt his son would take his own life if he was sent to the US. “I remember in primary school walking around in blue funks back in the playground, almost like there was a distance between me and other people, feeling that nobody cared about me, that nobody understood or appreciated me, everybody else was happy and enjoying themselves,” he says.His mind went into overdrive as he tried to look after his parents, while also making sure the police read him his rights, cautioned him and did not ask questions they were not legally entitled to ask.“They asked me questions about my computer and encryption and whether I would give them the unlock code for my phone, which they shouldn’t really do,” says Love.He learned about databases and how to write programs in Logo, a graphical language that allowed children to program turtles to move around a screen.Love enjoyed drawing geometric patterns and, for a youngster who found holding a pen awkward, Logo was an amazing tool.So I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just deal with this – next time somebody comes into my folder to delete my files that I’ve carefully amassed, they’ll have a little surprise’,” he says.