I’m no expert on so-called Autism and I don’t have a clue about hacking. But my guess is that this young man, now 20, was feeling alienated and found some kind of relief through his illegal activities. If I’m right, could this not be redirected toward the good?
Instead of throwing him in jail, which will likely make him feel even more the outsider, why not put him to work as a counter-terrorism agent for British Intelligence? Use his obvious talent to abort terror plots and save a ton of money by not funding a detention center.
I’m not talking slavery. Give him a fair salary and keep watch on his activities. Don’t allow him a home computer or smartphone for a probational period. And see what the young man can do.
That would be my sentence if I were judge.