Coast man fined for refusing police iPhone access

A PERSONAL trainer has been fined after he refused to give officers access to his phone during a raid.

Alexander Patrick Wilson, 26, appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was woken by officers during the raid of a Caboolture property on November 19.

Wilson was staying overnight at the property while helping his boss, who lived there, with renovations.

The Southport Magistrates Court heard he refused to give police access to his phone even though he was told it was a crime not to.

The man refused to give police access.
The man refused to give police access.

His solicitor, Campbell MacCallum of Moloney MacCallum Abdelshahied Lawyers, said another man who lived at the property was the person of interest over drug matters.

"My client was asleep in a bedroom … he wasn't named on the warrant, he's not being investigated by the police, police didn't even know of him or about him, or have an interest in him," he said.

"(They (officers) woke him up from his sleep, demanded his phone, and the access to that phone.

"He advised them that he didn't wish for them to look through his phone for the purpose that he had pictures of his grandmother who had just recently passed and some other personal photos on there, and some other messages, and he felt it wasn't required."

Wilson pleaded guilty to contravening order about information necessary to access information stored electronically, which carries a maximum penalty of five years jail.

Mr MacCallum said his client was not involved in criminal activity and worked as a personal trainer, a business owner, and in carpentry.

He was fined $1500.
He was fined $1500.

He said Wilson spent 30 hours in custody for the offence.

Magistrate Kay Phillipson described it as a serious offence and said "it doesn't matter that he might have thought it was an invasion of his privacy … it's the law".

"You may not have appreciated the significance of what you were doing on the day but you were told, according to the facts … that you were advised that it was offence not to provide those details," she said.

"It's extremely concerning that you would think after being told it was a criminal offence not to give such access."

Wilson was fined $1500 and no conviction was recorded.

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