computer typing
Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash

A Swiss woman was fined £1,150 after being found guilty of reading her husband's emails without permission.

The unnamed woman became suspicious when her partner created a new email account on their shared computer. According to the Aargauer Zeitung newspaper, she admitted logging into it by using one of the several shared passwords that were noted down next to the computer.

After accessing her husband's new email account, the woman, from Aargau, in northern Switzerland, found that he had been having affairs with a number of women for a prolonged period of time.

Following her discovery, she then confronted her partner but she was left stunned when the latter, who had moved out of their apartment, filed a criminal complaint in which he argued his privacy had been violated.

"He had been in contact with several women for a long time. I confronted him with his affairs, and he moved out of our flat relatively quickly," the woman said in a court hearing.

The original charges were brought on the woman in February and, last month, she was convicted of intentionally and repeatedly hacking her husband account and downloading material that belonged to him.

While the defence argued the woman had technically not hacked the email account as she knew the password, the computer's search history showed that before committing the act, she had researched whether it would be illegal to access someone else's emails.

The prosecution argued that proved she knew she could be breaching the law.

Under Article 145 of the Swiss criminal code, reading a person's password-protected data is illegal and perpetrators can face a fine and up to three years in prison.

A court in Muri, in the north east of the country, handed her a CHF9,000 fine (£6,789), which was suspended on the condition of no further offences within two years, and ordered her to pay CHF4,300 to cover legal costs.

Last month, the court upheld the initial conviction but the fine was reduced to £1,150 as the woman had to "exert minimal criminal energy" to access the emails due to her "husband's carelessness".