UK Man Jailed for Speeding: Evidence taken from his Phone.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by vrDrew, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #1
    According to the BBC, Northamptonshire driver Shaun Davis was has been imprisoned for 28 months and given a 10 year driving ban after police found videos he'd recorded of his speedometer on his smartphone. David was apparently arrested "on an unrelated matter" which led to the police examining his phone.



    While anybody convicted of driving at almost 200 mph on a public road deserves severe penalties; I'm troubled by the methods the police used to prosecute and convict Davis.

    I'm almost certain that in the USA, with our Constitutional protections against both self-incrimination and unreasonable search and seizure, that a decent legal defense would have prevented this conviction.

    I don't know what, if any, other evidence the prosecution provided. Were there eyewitness reports of high speed runs on the A45 at the time? Did the prosecution provide GPS or vehicle data to corroborate the fact that the vehicle had reached the speeds in question?

    We've all seen crazy things people claim to have recorded on their smartphones. But getting two years in the nick; and a ten year driving ban; seems like a high price to pay for sharing your stupidity on social networks.

    One practical thing to keep in mind: The way speed enforcement is carried out in Britain is very different from the way it is done in the USA. The British police rely - to a very great extent - on Speed Cameras to do the job. Road patrols by police vehicles are, compared to the US, relatively rare. But since Cameras are usually in fixed, known locations, drivers familiar with the highways can speed with a certain amount of impunity.
     
  2. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #2
    He hasn't got 2 years in prison and a ten year driving bad for sharing a video on social networking, he's got it for doing 192 MPH on an open public road, he's actually been charged with dangerous driving as well as speeding.

    The charges are brought on the basis of 4 videos, not just the one, and he's speaking on some of them, so you can quite quickly tell its his voice. Of the back of one of them his daughter with encouraging dangerous driving, for egging him on.

    In the UK police must show the CPS and the jury that there is guilt beyond reasonable doubt. He will have been advised by his solicitor to say it wasn't him, because of the fact that the police must prove it, that is why when you get arrested by british police its best to "No comment" any interviews, because if they've got the evidence you will be found guilty regardless of whether you admit it or not, or they will often try to use your statements to prove guilt, even if you are not guilty...... The most common one being a pot smoker passing a joint to another pot smoker and admitting that to police, the first will a charge for supply, and the second with get a charge for possession.

    But, in the instance of a man, who video'd himself doing nearly 200 mph on public roads, multiple times, whilst listening to UB40..... I simply do not care less that the evidence is self incrimination, the phone location, youtube accounts etc, will have all of been cross checked with each other, he's bang to rights guilty, and gets everything he deserves.
     
  3. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    From a civil liberties perspective, the problem that I have with this case is that the prosecution was based 100% on evidence taken from the smartphone.

    The UK has the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act of 2000, which compels individuals to provide the police with the passcode to any encrypted device. In this particular instance, Davis was arrested on an unrelated charge. It was the videos that the police uncovered during their "fishing expedition" that led to his conviction.

    Not to defend or excuse dangerous or reckless driving in any way. But cases like this make me very glad the US has its Constitutional protections to our privacy and rights during a criminal investigation. Let an overzealous prosecutor rummage through enough of your stuff - and eventually they'll find something to convict you on.

    For example: Several times people have asked me to buy various electronic devices in the US and bring them to the UK, because they are cheaper here. Presumably an investigator, going through my e-mails on an unrelated matter, would uncover evidence that I was conspiring evade UK customs and excise taxes. Even if there was no actual proof that I did, in fact, bring such items into the UK.
     
  4. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I need clarification ... he was arrested for an unrelated matter, the police confiscated his phone and then went through it and found the videos?

    Is that how it went down?

    Did they have a warrant for searching his phone?
     
  5. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    As far as I know - yes, thats exactly the way it happened.

    And no: The cops in Britain don't need a warrant to search your phone, and under their law they can compel you to give up the lock code.

    Thats what I find disturbing.
     
  6. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    Its not quite that simple.

    It depends on the power that you're being arrested under, for something like PACE, it would be hard/impossible for them to justify forcing you to unlock your phone with a pin number, however they could under say the misuse of drugs act, and they used to use section 44 and 43 of the terrorism act to do so (which have now been ruled illegal under the EHCR).

    Of course if you use a finger print unlock on your phone, they can force you to unlock it because they have the right to your fingerprints, and I believe there's been rulings to say they can in the US too....... so lets not be jumping up and down with excitement that the limeys have less rights than the yanks, because it doesn't particularly seem that that is the case.
     
  7. sim667, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015

    sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #7
    He was arrested as part of Operation Adopt, he was a Cocaine dealer, who was particularly brazen about his vocation, they're planning on confiscating somewhere between 750K and 1.6M of assets off him, all of which have been purchased by proceeds from cocaine.

    http://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk...capture-of-drug-dealer-1-765434#axzz3r0dfkRtf

    @vrDrew can you please stop perpetuating rubbish, the police can't search your phone willy nilly...... They had legitimate cause to be going through this blokes phone.
    They can't stop you in the street and demand you unlock your phone, they can only make you unlock your phone, they have to show that there is reasonable grounds that your phone contains evidence of a crime. They can't "fish" for evidence that a generic crime has been committed like you say.
     
  8. jkcerda macrumors 6502

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    #8
    it's for the children.
     
  9. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    Did you literally decide to do no reading at all before you went on to make silly claims?
     
  10. vrDrew, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015

    vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Then I'm not sure why they bothered prosecuting him for speeding. Surely if he was drug kingpin with millions of pounds in ill-gotten assets, the CPS could have enough evidence to put him behind bars for a decade or so?

    Edit: I see that the police have secured a confession on the drug dealing charges.
     
  11. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #11
    They prosecuted him for dangerous driving
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-34744459

    and drug dealing, and money laundering

    http://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk...capture-of-drug-dealer-1-765434#axzz3r0dfkRtf


    And yes quite a few people do speed in the UK, but we have reasonable speed limits and reasonable allowances, considering how packed our roads are. 70 on the motorway is plenty fast enough, in most circumstances theres a 10% allowance for differences in speedometers, but its highly unlikely you'll get pulled over for anything less than 90, although 100 + is an automatic ban. Although most of our enforcement is traffic cameras, which is either points and a fine, or a speed awareness course.

    Lets be clear, this guy filmed himself on an A road, the speed limit is 60, he was doing over 3 times the legal limit...... There is absolutely no reason he should not have been charged with this above and beyond what he was originally arrested for. And you're standing up for his right to speed and risk other peoples lives with impunity.

    Dangerous driving, and speeding are not the same charges.....

    You may find that the prison sentences for both crimes are not allowed to run consecutively, so in total he may have got something like 10 + 2 years..... He'll only serve about 6 on good behaviour, but they wouldn't have wanted him coming out and jumping in a car, so of course they're going to throw the dangerous driving charge at him, to make it so he can't drive when he gets out and has to do his test again. I'm no fan of the police, but realistically they got him bang to rights, and he deserves a spell in prison for this driving offence alone.
     
  12. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #12
    It's very disturbing. I would change that law, given the chance. It's one thing to suspect that evidence of illegality exists on a phone and getting a warrant to search it, versus going on a fishing expedition whenever you arrest somebody.


    It's not so simple.

    You may have fewer rights in this specific area, but that doesn't mean anything when taking in the whole picture of one's rights.

    But still, I can't support the policy.
     
  13. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    Its not a policy, its simply not the case, vrDrew has just made claims with no back up to support them..... his claims are wrong, because he didn't do any fact checking.
     
  14. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    I don't disagree with the CPS prosecuting someone for speeding and dangerous driving.

    My concern is with the British law that compels people under police investigation to give up lock codes on encrypted devices. In this case it seems that the evidence uncovered as a result was the only evidence used to secure a conviction.

    Most US legal scholars suggest that the Fifth Amendment provides protection against any such law being adopted here. And - for all the risks of terrorism, drug dealing, and child abuse - I don't think we ought to change that

    In many respects I think the UK's police services and criminal justice system do a better job than their counterparts here in the US. But at the same time, cases like this make me very aware of the value of our written Constitution.
     
  15. pdqgp macrumors 68020

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    I'm good with the decision. 1. it's not our country so what their rules are terms of phones and privacy, I don't care. In terms of this bust, I'm good with it. 2. Dude was driving like an idiot and knowing the rules they have in terms of privacy and getting busted, he let himself down.

    Here in the states if he put up a video he'd likely be busted just the same. It would likely just take a few more PIA expensive ways of getting the data to prove it. Cars have black boxes too and when combined with his video and his phone, the outcome would likely be the same. All in all it would be a just bust.
     
  16. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    Well for a start lets put it this way, if someone in the US was arrested for drug dealing, and then on their phone was found a POV of them abusing a child, but there was no other evidence, you would it was fair for them to get away with the latter crime on the basis that there was no other evidence?

    And to be clear its only certain prosecutions they can go through your phone for, this fella was caught as his phone was seized under the misuse of drugs act.

    If he was arrested under PACE, they couldn't have gone through his phone.
     
  17. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    If there was literally no other evidence (no child whose testimony could be taken. No DNA evidence or medical reports) - I wouldn't think it was "fair"; "right"; or "just" that the perpetrator escaped prosecution. But that isn't the standard for a society based on civil liberties. Sometimes its preferable that a hundred guilty men go free, than a single innocent man be convicted.

    And there are probably millions (billions) of crimes that go unprosecuted unpunished through lack of evidence.

    I don't think it is worth the loss of privacy and civil liberties all citizens would suffer, were we to institute technological and law enforcement mechanisms that would allow investigators to retroactively rifle through citizens private data and devices, absent both probable cause and a properly executed warrant.
     
  18. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    That would be my sentiment too, however when it comes to something that puts peoples lives in danger, as opposed to an essentially victimless crime, I have no qualms with it.

    There are plenty of laws people in the UK people should be bothered by, as there is in the US too...... however, this is not the case to take a stand on, the guy was reckless and shameless, and this is only in the news because he's the person who's be prosecuted and convicted at the fastest speed in the UK, ever.....

    By a good 50 MPH over the previous person too.
     
  19. Sydde macrumors 68020

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  20. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    everything is jeremy calfskin's fault :D
     
  21. FieldingMellish Suspended

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    #21
    Amped-up coke head with progeny in tow, marauding the streets with pedal to the metal, while multitasking video for kicks X several instances. I give a crap about that bloke's rights like he gave a crap about other's safety.
     
  22. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Meanwhile in the UK:

    Senior cops lobby parliament to demand ISP maintain year-long record of internet users browsing history.

    Again: We need to be very careful about giving the Government too much power to snoop into our lives. We made that mistake here in the US with the USA Patriot Act.
     
  23. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

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    #23
    Agreed. Once the government gets the power to do something it very rarely give it up.
     
  24. skunk macrumors G4

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    I agree. While I am sure the police had a right to search his computer, his phone, and anything else for evidence of his drug-dealing, they certainly should not be using what they found for an unrelated prosecution.
     
  25. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Expect sales of VPN services to soar
     

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