Reading your wife's email can get you five years -

A US bloke faces five years in jail for looking at his wife's email to see if she was having an affair.

Leon Walker, 33, logged onto a laptop in the home he shared with his wife, Clara Walker. Using her password, he accessed her Gmail account and learned she was having an affair.

She got a divorce, but Oakland County prosecutors, relying on a Michigan statute typically used to prosecute crimes such as identity theft or stealing trade secrets, have charged him with hacking.

If he loses he could be behind bars for five years.

According to Free Press, lawyers are divided about how good the State's case is.

Walker found his wife was having an affair with her second husband, who once had been arrested for beating her in front of her son. Walker says he gave the e-mails to her first husband, the child's father, to protect the boy.

Frederick Lane, who has penned five books on electronic privacy, said that the fact that the two were living together, and that Leon Walker had routine access to the computer, may help him.

He said that it is enough of a gray area to suggest that she could not have an absolute expectation of privacy.

About half of divorce cases involve snooping but this is normally used as ammo in messy separations. The State rarely gets involved in this sort of thing.

Having sensibly purged the statutes of adultery laws it seems a bit unfair to lock up a bloke for finding out that his wife was cheating on him. Although, once you start going through emails for proof it is fair to say your relationship may already be over.