A Larkhill man has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment after failing to provide his phone PIN number to police during a criminal investigation.
Andrew Garner, aged 35, of Northern Terrace, is the first person in Wiltshire to be convicted of failing to disclose the key to protected information. He was also charged with obstructing an officer in the execution of duty.
On 21 January 2016, detectives from Salisbury CID attended Garner’s home address in order to arrest him in relation to a criminal investigation.
Garner ran from the address but was caught by officers a short distance away. A search of his address found an iPhone 6 hidden inside his mattress. This was seized, by Garner refused to give detectives his PIN so was served with a notice under Section 49 of the Regulations of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, signed by a judge ordering him to provide it to police within 14 days. He failed to do so.
In December, 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 on 7 February he was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court to 18 months imprisonment.
Garner was also made to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years in relation to the initial criminal investigation involving the internet.
Detective Constable Mark Welch, of Salisbury CID, 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.”