'Daft' film buff, 23, avoids jail after his friend shared online film he secretly took while working at a Hollywood special effects studio in London

Mail Online | 1/26/2018 | Mark Duell for MailOnline
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A 'daft' young film buff's 'dream job' almost got him jailed after top secret footage he took from a world-leading special effects studio hit the internet.

Joel Butcher, 23, of Nottingham, was sued for contempt of court by Double Negative, whose clients include Walt Disney and Warner Brothers.

Firm - Work - Hit - Movies - Wonder

The firm's work has featured in multiple recent hit movies including Wonder Woman, Assassin's Creed, the Jason Bourne films and Dunkirk.

Mr Butcher, who worked for the firm in 2016 and 2017, slipped up by 'taking film footage and other items from the company so he could study them for his future education and intended career', his QC Paul Gott told the High Court.

Footage - Friend - Knowledge - Online - Barrister

'Wrongly and stupidly', he shared the strictly confidential footage with a friend who, without his knowledge, posted the material online, the barrister said.

But when Double Negative served a court order on him before Christmas, Mr Butcher 'reacted in panic', said Mr Gott.

Witness - Statement - Friend - Footage - Computer

He falsely claimed in a sworn witness statement that his friend had removed the footage from his computer without his permission. The Soho-based film company took him to the High Court, demanding that he be fined or jailed.

Mr Gott said Mr Butcher admitted swearing a 'false affidavit' – but described him as a 'daft 23-year-old', adding: 'He has been idiotic and very stupid but he has learned a salutary lesson.'

Parents - Months - Consequences - Actions - Court

He and his parents had gone through months of mental anguish worrying about the consequences of his actions, the court was told. They had sleepless nights worrying that what he had done might derail his budding film industry career.

Locking him up...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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