back to article Londoner jailed after refusing to unlock his mobile phones

A London man has been jailed for almost six years after being caught with two illegally held revolvers – and refusing to reveal to police the PINs for his mobile phones. Twenty-nine-year-old Marvin Jones, of Tyneham Close, Clapham, was sentenced to five years and six months in prison for possessing the two revolvers, a Smith …

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  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    *reads headline*

    "WHAT? That's scandelous! How dare they..."

    *reads sub-headline*

    "Ohhhh."

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Shirley you are not suggesting an element of click bait....

    2. VBF
      Happy

      EXACTLY my thought!

  2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    How long for theft?

    If he had claimed the phones were stolen and he couldn't unlock them - would that work?

    1. Dabooka Silver badge

      Re: How long for theft?

      I guess they'd have to try and prove calls texts had recently been received or made to quell that argument

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: How long for theft?

        It wouldn't be hard to get cell records for any phone, and prove that they were being used by him and thus he must have had the passcode (stolen or not).

        And then you'd just charge him with theft of a phone, failing to disclose his passcode AND obstruction of justice (why is this not the charge for failing to disclose the passcode anyway?).

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: How long for theft?

          "obstruction of justice (why is this not the charge for failing to disclose the passcode anyway?)."

          IANAL but maybe possible self-incrimination could be grounds for challenging obstruction, hence the need to create a separate offence. At some point this seems likely to go to the ECHR. An accompanying charge of possession of two firearms isn't the best case to take to the ECHR, however.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: How long for theft?

            Which is why they have been careful to only use it for child porn/terrorism etc up to now. You build up a set of case law showing how necessary it is in order to prosecute these evil etc etc - then you can use it on people who put their bins out on the wrong day or complain about about councillor's expenses

          2. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: How long for theft? self-incrimination ...

            Presumably to prove you are going to self-incriminate yourself you'd have to unlock the phone!

          3. Adam 52 Silver badge

            Re: How long for theft?

            The argument is that they key is a thing, just like a physical key, accounting leger or video tape, and can be demanded just like those physical items can without interfering with the right to a fair trial.

            It's an arguable point though because a password that's not written down *might* not be a thing until it is verbalised.

            So there's all sorts of scope for, say, a usb containing a key to be demanded but a biometric not. Or even a fingerprint or iris biometric to be demanded but a voiceprint not.

            See UK vs Saunders and some waffle in Hansard.

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: How long for theft?

      Truecrypt used to have a plausible deniability feature whereby a secondary pass code would unlock a second volume. The actual volume would not be detectable from within this volume.

      Seems like something similar for android/iPhone is needed.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: How long for theft?

        "Truecrypt used to have a plausible deniability "

        'used to have' being the operative phrase here, because there are ways to detect it. I believe there are things that can be done to reduce those chances of detection, but at that point you're practically taking up witchcraft :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Coat

          Re: How long for theft?

          Witchcraft? ask George Smiley about that?

    3. herman Silver badge

      Re: How long for theft?

      Brilliant!

      I'm sure going to jail for theft of two phones will be less than 5 years, unless maybe if there are shared music files on them...

  3. Dabooka Silver badge
    WTF?

    That last para-sentence

    hurt my brain, and I'm still not sure what I read.

    Luckily I've read the relevant articles so know what it is on about.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: That last para-sentence

      The linked article mentions a hearing date in the past week or so. Would be interesting to have an update to that case.

  4. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    Guns in the UK! Never! Has he not heard the law bans them?

    1. Slartybardfast

      Re: Hmm

      "Guns in the UK! Never! Has he not heard the law bans them?"

      Strange comment. Yes, I guess he certainly knows now, having been given 5 1/2 years for owning them.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @ Slartybardfast

        "Strange comment."

        In what way? Guns are mostly banned with strict laws on ownership which is typically considered the solution to most news stories involving guns. Except this one where the criminal is armed with 2 guns in a heavily regulated country.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          No one ever claimed that making most types of firearms illegal makes it impossible for criminals to get hold of firearms, but it makes it more difficult. The statistics are absolutely clear that countries with few guns have a much lower rate of gun deaths (duh!). And this guy got busted for possessing these guns presumably before he had the chance to use them for criminal purposes, so I'd say that's the system working right there.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            @AC

            "No one ever claimed that making most types of firearms illegal makes it impossible for criminals to get hold of firearms, but it makes it more difficult."

            Well said. Except they seem able to get enough to shoot each other in London and Manchester gang wars. Some of these attacks in daylight too.

            "The statistics are absolutely clear that countries with few guns have a much lower rate of gun deaths (duh!)."

            However the stats are less rosy for violent crime. For the US particularly there seems an opposite correlation.

            "And this guy got busted for possessing these guns presumably before he had the chance to use them for criminal purposes, so I'd say that's the system working right there."

            Are you sure? How do you know he didnt use them? Of course by use there is discharging the gun and of course the presence of a gun which are both the use of a gun (as would be letting off a few rounds shooting cans).

            I dont disagree with the cops nabbing him for his illegal guns, it is interesting how many of these things are around considering they are effectively banned. So banned that the Olympics need special permission yet criminals have them.

            1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

              Re: Hmm

              "However the stats are less rosy for violent crime. For the US particularly there seems an opposite correlation."

              It would be interesting to see your evidence for that conclusion.

              Incidentally, don't compare US and UK rates for violent crime without pointing out that the US statistics basically start at GBH and rape and work up, whereas the UK statistics include everything from threatening behaviour upwards. They cannot be directly compared.

              1. Dan Paul

                Re: Hmm

                Funny you should say that. As Gun Ownership increases, overall crime has decreased.

                Maybe, if the liberals darling project Obamacare provided ANY mental health benefits then the roughly 20,00 suicides by gunshot might not happen (Half of all shootings in the US are suicides)

                READ THESE FACTS BEFORE YOU CONTINUE OTHER LIES

                Here are some very Interesting Facts About Gun Control:

                There are 30,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms, and this number is not disputed. U.S. population 324,059,091 as of Wednesday, June 22, 2016.

                Do the math: 0.0000925% of the population die from gun related actions each year. Statistically speaking, this is insignificant!)

                What is never told, however, is a breakdown of those deaths, to put them in perspective as compared to other causes of death:

                • 65% of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws

                • 15% are by law enforcement in the line of duty and justified

                • 17% are through criminal activity, gang and drug related or mentally ill persons

                • 3% are accidental discharge deaths

                So technically, "gun violence" is not 30,000 annually, but drops to 5,100.

                Still too many? Well, first, how are those deaths spanned across the nation?

                • 480 homicides (9.4%) were in Chicago

                • 344 homicides (6.7%) were in Baltimore

                • 333 homicides (6.5%) were in Detroit

                • 119 homicides (2.3%) were in Washington D.C. (a 54% increase over prior years)

                So basically, 25% of all gun crime happens in just 4 cities. All 4 of those cities have strict gun laws, so it is not the lack of law that is the root cause.

                This basically leaves 3,825 for the entire rest of the nation - or about 75 deaths per state. That is an average because some States have much higher rates than others.

                For example, California had 1,169 - and Alabama had 1.

                Now, who has the strictest gun laws by far? California of course but understand, so it is not guns causing this. It is a crime rate spawned by the number of criminal persons residing in those cities and states. So if all cities and states are not created equally, then there must be something other than the tool causing the gun deaths.

                Are 5,100 deaths per year horrific? How about in comparison to other deaths? All death is sad and especially so when it is in the commission of a crime but that is the nature of crime. Robbery, death, rape, assault - all are done by criminals and thinking that criminals will obey laws is ludicrous. That's why they are criminals.

                But what about other deaths each year?

                • 40,000+ die from a drug overdose – THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THAT!

                · 36,000 people die per year from the flu, far exceeding the criminal gun deaths

                • 34,000 people die per year in traffic fatalities (exceeding gun deaths even if you include suicide)

                Now it gets good:

                • 200,000+ people die each year (and growing) from preventable medical malpractice. You are safer in Chicago than when you are in a hospital!

                • 710,000 people die per year from heart disease. It’s time to stop the double cheeseburgers!

                So what is the point? If the anti-gun movement focused their attention on heart disease, even a 10% decrease in cardiac deaths would save twice the number of lives annually of all gun-related deaths (including suicide, law enforcement, etc.). A 10% reduction in malpractice would be 66% of the total gun deaths or 4 times the number of criminal homicides ....... Simple, easily preventable 10% reductions!

                So you have to ask yourself, in the grand scheme of things, why the focus on guns? It's pretty simple. Taking away guns gives control to governments.

                This is not conspiracy theory; this is a historical fact. Why is it impossible for the government to spill over into dictatorship?

                Why did the Japanese not even attempt to attack California in WWII? Because as they put it, there is a gun behind every blade of grass.

                The founders of this nation knew that regardless of the form of government, those in power may become corrupt and seek to rule as the British did by trying to disarm the populace of the colonies. It is not difficult to understand that a disarmed populace is a controlled populace.

                Thus, the second amendment was proudly and boldly included in the U.S. Constitution. It must be preserved at all costs.

                So the next time someone tries to tell you that gun control is about saving lives, look at these facts and remember these words from Noah Webster:

                "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force at the command of Congress can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power."

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Hmm

                  The fundamental cognitive dissonance is that Americans have lots of guns, yet still lost literally all their civil rights.

                  The only right you have left is gun ownership

                  1. Marshalltown

                    Re: Hmm

                    "The fundamental cognitive dissonance is that Americans have lots of guns, yet still lost literally all their civil rights."

                    That reflects US views, but they rarely understand just how constrained humanity in the rest of the planet is.. Compared with other parts of the world, including some regarded as highly enlightened parts, the individual US citizen is well off as regards "rights' such as free speech, weapons, access to courts, presumed innocence, etc. The "rights" the US falls short on are more typically health, retirement, and other more "social" "rights." Your typical US citizen is deathly afraid of taxes and envisions themselves as only a tiny distance away from Trump and the Waltons, mistaken as that is, not quite grasping that someone like Trump OWNS the legistlators that pass the laws taxing the little guys and protecting individual people with the wealth of small nations..

                    1. EvadingGrid

                      Re: Hmm

                      Having lived and worked in both countries, it depends exactly on who you are, and what you wish to do, as to which country has more freedom. It also depends on where you live, Glasgow can be a lot more dangerous than a rural town in a fly-over state. Get sick, loose your job and america can be one big prison. It really depends on individual circumstances. The thing both countries have in common, is that Freedom is under constant attack by a campaigning elite using proxies.

                2. albaleo

                  Re: Hmm

                  "There are 30,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms, and this number is not disputed. U.S. population 324,059,091 as of Wednesday, June 22, 2016.

                  Do the math: 0.0000925% of the population die from gun related actions each year."

                  I think you should start again, and do the "math" properly this time.

                  1. Steven Jones

                    Re: Hmm

                    "There are 30,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms, and this number is not disputed. U.S. population 324,059,091 as of Wednesday, June 22, 2016.

                    Do the math: 0.0000925% of the population die from gun related actions each year."

                    I did, and it's 0.00925%. When you turn a decimal factor into a percentage remember to factor in the 100...

                3. AlexS
                  WTF?

                  Re: Hmm

                  @Dan Paul With guns, more kids and toddlers kill people by accident than terrorists do on purpose. Gun crime on US soil 30 times bigger than UK as a percentage of the population. Oh and it says on the 2nd amendment guns should be well regulated. Excuses excuses.

                  1. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

                    Re: Hmm

                    >>"Oh and it says on the 2nd amendment guns should be well regulated. Excuses excuses".

                    No, it does not. Sorry, Try again.

                    It says the Militia should be well regulated. It is. There are a set of laws under Titles 10 and 32 which exist to regulate the Militia. Therefore it is reasonable to state that the Militia is well regulated.

                    2nd Amendment text:

                    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

                    And before you start the usual unthinking Liberal argument about "The Militia is the National Guard, durr hurr hurr", you may want to get a glimpse of what the Militia is in US Law. I'll help since you seem to be pretty oblivious to the law. Hint: It is not just the National Guard.

                    10 U.S.C. § 311 - Militia: composition and classes:

                    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

                    (b) The classes of the militia are—

                    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

                    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

                    And just in case you think there's something supporting your ignorance in 32 U.S.C. 313, I'll spell that one out for you too.

                    32 U.S.C § 313 - Appointments and enlistments: age limitations:

                    (a) To be eligible for original enlistment in the National Guard, a person must be at least 17 years of age and under 45, or under 64 years of age and a former member of the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, or Regular Marine Corps. To be eligible for reenlistment, a person must be under 64 years of age.

                    (b) To be eligible for appointment as an officer of the National Guard, a person must—

                    (1) be a citizen of the United States; and

                    (2) be at least 18 years of age and under 64.

                    So, you were saying?

                    1. kain preacher Silver badge

                      Re: Hmm

                      Um you need only be a a legal resident to serve in any branch of the military, and yes the national guard is consider a branch of the military, You need to be a US citizen for classified post.

                  2. Jaybus

                    Re: Hmm

                    "Oh and it says on the 2nd amendment guns should be well regulated."

                    No. It doesn't. It says "well regulated militia" and "the right of the people to keep and bear arms". It does not say the right of the militia. It does not say the right of the states. It definitely says the right of the people. "The people" is used throughout the Constitution to specify rights granted to an individual. The 10th amendment makes this point very clear. At least, that is what the US Supreme Court has ruled.

                4. gnasher729 Silver badge

                  Re: Hmm

                  "• 65% of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws"

                  Absolutely wrong. If you look at US statistics, women have more suicide attempts than men. However, men tend to use guns much more often than women, and suicide attempts using guns turn very often into suicides. As a result, men commit more suicides then women (the number of unsuccessful attempts is lower).

                  There would definitely be fewer suicides among men if they had no access to firearms.

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: gnasher729 Re: Hmm

                    "....women have more suicide attempts than men...." So you could argue that women are more likely to stage an attempt to gain attention, whereas men are just more interested in ending it.

                    ".....There would definitely be fewer suicides among men if they had no access to firearms." Complete rubbish as you cannot show that men would not choose an alternative but equally effective means of suicide. For example, the majority of suicides where people jumps off bridges into traffic are men, presumably because women don't like the idea of smashing their bodies. Women tend to use pills, where there is a much greater chance of being interrupted or the attempt failing. Simply removing firearms will not magically remove the suicidal impulse from men nor women so inclined, so you are talking out of your arse.

                    1. JimC Silver badge

                      Re: gnasher729 Hmm

                      > Complete rubbish as you cannot show that men would not choose an alternative but

                      > equally effective means of suicide.

                      Here's some research on attempted suicide by Paracetamol. http://cebmh.warne.ox.ac.uk/csr/resparacet.html

                      It does appear that making it mildly inconvenient to buy large doses of paracetamol has led to a significant reduction in the suicide rate. I'm not sure whether this is a cheerful statistic or, for what it tells us about people, a depressing one.

                5. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Hmm

                  >So technically, "gun violence" is not 30,000 annually, but drops to 5,100.

                  Aside from the obvious issues with your arithmetic - I dipped into the headline stat first - the FBI are under the impression that there were 8,583 murders by firearm (though also note that Florida/Alabama have not provided data so its actually higher). Where do your stats come from?

                6. Rich 11 Silver badge

                  Re: Hmm

                  As Gun Ownership increases, overall crime has decreased.

                  Correlation does not equal causation. Overall crime has decreased in many Western countries over the last 25 years; most have not seen a corresponding increase in gun ownership. In the UK, for example, gun ownership has fallen during that period.

                7. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
                  Mushroom

                  Re: Hmm

                  65% of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws

                  The stupid, it burns.

                8. The First Dave

                  Re: Hmm

                  @Dan: "65% of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws"

                  Around 99% of those suicides _would_ have been prevented if there was no access to guns - no other method is quite as simple - throwing yourself off a cliff is actually _really_ hard to do, as is poisoning yourself, to pick the two most obvious alternatives.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Hmm

                    Do I want to live in a place where people who want to commit suicide can't? If all someone wants to do is commit suicide and they can't so they take it out on everyone else is that a good thing?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Hmm

                      No not at all. For a start, not everyone who wants to commit suicide would take the alternative of "[taking] it out on everyone else".

                      The solution for people who want to commit suicide is to help them through the shitty situation or mental disability that has lead them to believe that their life is not worth living.

                      The solution to depression and mental disability, is not down the barrel of a gun(or anything else that you can kill yourself with). The less ways you can top yourself surely gives carers more chance to help.

                      More on point, guns are just plain stupid, as are all weapons of death.

                      Even more on point, If the police asked to see my phone, I probably wouldn't let them, unless they have a damn good reason. I have nothing to hide, and they have nothing to suspect.

                9. SEDT

                  Re: Hmm

                  There's lies, damn lies, and then statistics.

                  Then there's Man-Maths

                  And finally, The gun lovin lobby.

                  Thank you for your perfect illustration of all the above, plus some fantastic inventions of your own

                10. Anonymous Coward
                  Devil

                  Re: Hmm

                  • 65% of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws

                  Suicide using a Gun should not be recorded as a gun crime; afterall isn't suicide lawful particularly if successful - ever hear of a successful suicide being prosecuted? And the olden days way of procecutring attempted suicides never did seem to be all that reasonable, against religious laws though.

                  And yes, Gun control does prevent gun related suicides, because if you can't easily (stress easily) get a gun you will obviously use another method

                  • Why did the Japanese not even attempt to attack California in WWII? Because as they put it, there is a gun behind every blade of grass.

                  WRT the Japenese not invading California - well if they could have used the nuclear option they they might have done so, afterall is that not what the USA did and for a similar reason

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                    Re: Lostyearsago Re: Hmm

                    "......ever hear of a successful suicide being prosecuted?....." Not the suicidee, but there have been cases where those that might have helped the suicidee gain access to the method of suicide (especially medical help) have been charged with assisting suicides.

                11. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

                  Re: Hmm - @Dan Paul

                  I'm not disputing your statistics, but I do slightly disagree with some of the inferences you draw.

                  First, suicide. There is evidence that suicide is primarily an impulsive gesture, and that guns make it very easy to commit suicide on an impulse. People who take overdoses often survive.

                  Secondly, the Japanese. A quick look at the map shows that the guns in California were nothing to do with it, it was the logistics - the Japanese simply couldn't have got a significant army there. It was a couple of thousand miles from the Aleutians to the US, and neither the Japanese nor the US could rapidly raise a large force to get to the Aleutians.

                  As for Noah Webster, he lived in a world of primitive artillery and hand guns. If he had been presented with a state armed with helicopter gunships, nuclear weapons, MBTs, thermobaric bombs, cluster bombs and the power to intcercept most communications, he would have realised the limits of an armed citizenry.

                  It isn't gun ownership in the US that worries me; it's gun fetishisation and the NRA. If there was an NKA promoting knife ownership and advocating that everybody carry hunting knives for self defence, would it attract the same funding and get the same lobbying power?

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hmm

                @ Voyna i Mor

                "It would be interesting to see your evidence for that conclusion."

                It is based on published figures from the FBI. I don't have the link immediately to hand but it shows that gun ownership has approx. doubled in the States over the past 10 years, and over the same period violent crime has approx. halved.

                1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

                  Re: Hmm

                  "It is based on published figures from the FBI. I don't have the link immediately to hand but it shows that gun ownership has approx. doubled in the States over the past 10 years, and over the same period violent crime has approx. halved."

                  Gun ownership 1972-2104

                  From that report:

                  "The household ownership of firearms has declined in recent decades. Table 1 (left side) shows that the 31.0% of households reported having a firearm in 2014, essentially tying with 2010 for the lowest level of gun ownership in the last 40-some years. This is a decline of about 17 percentage points from the peak ownership years in 1977-1980"

                  "Table 2 shows that in 2014 22.4% of adults personally owned a firearm. This is up slightly from a record low of 20.6% in 2010. There has been little change from 2006 to 2014. Personal ownership in 2014 is down 8.1 percentage points from a high of 30.5% in 1985."

                  The FBI statistics take only seconds to find:

                  Spreadsheet

                  They show a violent crime reduction overall of 12.2% between 2003 and 2012.

                  I have to end this post to repair my bullshit detector, but far from your doubling/halving the true statistics appear to be a drop in gun ownership by household, and a faster reduction in violent crime. Perhaps you could find the statistics that you've conveniently mislaid?

          2. Marshalltown

            Re: Hmm

            Once upon a time any free, property-owning man - sorry ladies but that was before suffrage - in England was literally required by law to own a weapon. It was considered essential to national defense and public order. As you track the history of British weapons regulations it becomes truly astonishing how ineffective those laws have been at limiting crime. The only weapons-related "crime" that the laws have probably truly reduced is suicide by firearm, which is BTW the commonest cause of firearms related deaths by an order of magnitude in the US. Based on available statistics there are several times as many crimes committed using firearms now than when the major laws were enacted. That is i part due to population changes, but only in part. Trawling through case law reveals that an individual defending themselves - especially with a weapon - is far more likely to receive harsh punishment under the law than an individual injured by a home defender during an actual criminal act.

            This leads to the notion that there is "justice" - he was my only son, he was just trying to make a living even if he was a burglar! He was just supporting his poor old mother! Now how can afford my cigs?" As opposed to "justice," "hmmm, you say you are a carpet layer, and that those carpet knives are just the tools of your trade. Yet you left one in plain view to the great distress of all with aichmophobia who viewed it. I find that highly unlikely - five years. I hope you will learn to be more considerate of the feelings of others."

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hmm

              Er, no. Even if you exclude suicides, so "intentional homicide" the rate in the USA is _much_ higher than other developed nations. It's really not surprising: guns are _really_ good for killing people. Make it child's play. Sometimes literally.

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