Man jailed for refusing to give police iPhone PIN code during criminal probe

A 35-year-old man has been jailed for 18 months after failing to give up his iPhone’s PIN code during a criminal investigation.

Detectives went to Andrew Garner’s home to arrest him in relation to an ongoing investigation but he sprinted from the home only to be caught by officers a short distance away.

A search of his address found an iPhone 6 hidden inside his mattress. This was seized, but Garner refused to give detectives his PIN that would unlock the phone.

Garner of Larkhill, Wilts., was served with a notice under Section 49 of the Regulations of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

This was signed by a judge ordering him to provide it to police within 14 days but again he denied the order.

Salisbury Crown Court
Garner was sentenced at Salisbury Crown Court

A three-day trial took place at Salisbury Crown Court, during which Garner claimed he couldn’t remember the PIN.

A jury found him guilty and he was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court to 18 months imprisonment for failing to disclose the key to protected information.

Garner was also made to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years in relation to the initial criminal investigation involving the internet. He was also charged with obstructing an officer in the execution of duty.

Detective Constable Mark Welch said: “From the very outset, Garner was obstructive, hiding his phone from police and attempting to run from officers at his home address.

“He was determined to stop officers gaining access to his phone in an attempt to prevent us from progressing the original investigation.

“I am happy with the sentence given to Garner. I hope it sends a clear message to those suspects who seek to hide behind the security of technological advancement that we will do all that we can to ensure justice is served.”

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