A MAGICIAN was sent a 3,800-page phone bill after his computer tried to connect to the internet half a million times without his knowledge.

Nic Picot, of Highfield, Watford, was sent a £12,000 bill by BT.

The itemised bill listed more than 500,000 calls apparently made from his ISDN fax line to a premium rate number for internet service provider Demon.

The calls, which each lasted for two seconds and were being made every three seconds, took place between July 16 and August 1 this year.

This was because the computer was unable to connect to Demon, as he had not had an account with them for several years but it kept trying without him knowing.

He said: "I'm very annoyed. I do not intend to pay this bill. I want them to write it off. It's not as though I have received any services for that money."

Mr Picot, a member of the Magic Circle and the Watford Association of Magicians, said BT had been "very unsympathetic" in the handling of the case.

BT has offered to reduce his bill to £8,000 as a "goodwill gesture".

Full story see today's Watford Observer.