A 19-year-old charged with hacking the website of the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a court has heard.

Ryan Cleary, from Wickford, Essex, was arrested as part of a Scotland Yard and FBI probe into online hacking group LulzSec, which claims responsibility for hacking attempts on Soca, the US Senate and the CIA.

His counsel told City of Westminster Magistrates' Court the young men suffers from the form of autism, along with agoraphobia and had spent most of his days at home for the last four years as a result .

Cleary has now been released on conditional bail and must observe a curfew between 2100 BST and 0700 BST, be electronically tagged and only leave the house with one of his parents. He is not allowed to access the internet or possess devices which can go online.

Mr Cleary is alleged to have set up a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) on 20 June.

A DDOS attack typically involves flooding a target website with data, in an attempt to overwhelm it so it cannot serve its legitimate users.

His mother, Rita spoke at Southwark Crown court on Monday to say she would agree to any bail conditions imposed on her son, describing him as "my life", she said: "I'm aware that I'm his best friend as well as his mother, because he's reclusive."

After the hearing, Mr Cleary's solicitor, Karen Todner, issued a statement on behalf of her client saying he was very relieved to be granted bail "and to go home to his mum, his cats and his books".

She continued: "Ryan has last week at court been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, which is a form of high functioning autism.

"He will now be provided with the professional support that he needs. His obvious intelligence can now be channelled into a worthwhile pursuit."

The case is due to be heard again at Southwark Crown Court on 30 August.