back to article Ex-soldier pleads guilty to terror crime after not revealing iPhone PIN

A former soldier from Wales has pleaded guilty to a terrorism offence after failing to reveal his mobile phone PIN to police. Robert Clarke, a 23-year-old former Royal Artillery soldier from Carmarthenshire, pleaded guilty to obstructing a search under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, according to the Press Association ( …

  1. inmypjs Silver badge

    Neat

    Guy wants to go help the Kurds fight IS terrorists gets arrested, fined, banned from leaving the country and to top it off has to pay 85 quid into a victims fund.

    Are they going to forward the 85 quid to ISIS? Maybe they could stick it in a donation box at the local mosque.

    1. FireBurn
      Pirate

      Re: Neat

      To be fair it probably saved the country loads of money in the long run. When captured by IS the ensuing rescue operation would need to be arranged. A stitch in time saves nine

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Neat

      I think you'll find the local mosque would refuse it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Neat

      The 85 plus plenty of million more, they need the money, and we cant jusr leave our saudi friends to shoulder most of the cost...

    4. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: inmypjs Re: Neat

      "Guy wants to go help the Kurds fight IS terrorists...." That's what he said. Of course, the reality could be that he was saved from being kidnapped by a group claiming to be able to hook him up with the Kurds (unlikely given he was trying to route through Jordan and not Turkey). This guy was a complete muppet for broadcasting his intent - if he really did want to provide humanitarian aid to the Kurds then there are at least a dozen charities he could have offered his services to, but his posts seem to show he just wanted to go play Rambo. And he could have avoided any charge if he'd simply given up his iPhone PIN but he decided it was smarter to "play it hard" - what a maroon! It doesn't look like the Kurds missed out on a Bourne-level operative, more like an obnoxious version of Private Pike. When you finish laughing at this twit you could always enjoy some vintage Pike and comrades.

  2. Potemkine Silver badge

    WTF!

    Fighting the Islamic State is a terrorist crime?! Are these people insane?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF!

      Fighting the Islamic State is a terrorist crime?!

      Yes. If you're not part of the official forces fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq, then you're a paedodruggyterrorist who doesn't recycle properly either. And certainly a climate change denier.

      Are these people insane?

      It is far, far worse than that. "These people" are bureaucrats. Civil servants, Westminster bubble politicians. Having said that, we are engaged and taking proper, officially approved, non-terrorist casualties in taking the fight to IS. The other day I saw a C17 doing a quick turnaround at BHX before heading south at low altitude. The only purpose of that plan is to bring critically injured servicemen to the QE hospital at Birmingham.

      Respect to the injured, two fingers to Westminster

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF!

        >Fighting the Islamic State is a terrorist crime?!

        The Kurds are the enemy of our peace-loving democratic NATO allies Turkey and he was proposing fighting ISIS who are supported by our rich weapon-buying peace-loving democratic allies in Saudi Arabia - so obviously he is a terrorist

        1. JohnG

          Re: WTF!

          "The Kurds are the enemy of our peace-loving democratic NATO allies Turkey "

          On the other hand, there are known to be US special forces training/supporting the Kurds and thought to be British special forces helping them as well. Which all rather complicates things.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: WTF!

      RTFA:

      "pleaded guilty to obstructing a search under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000"

      Not giving the police a working PIN is a terrorist crime. Which presumably means the police are terrified that they might not be able to read your texts.

      1. tr1ck5t3r

        Re: WTF!

        Legal prosecutions need evidence, so if you forgot your pin, where's the evidence? Up until December the spooks evidence was inadmissible, now the Snoopers Charter is law, their evidence is now admissible but you cant talk about in court and just to get in a "banker", section 56.4 effectively back dates all activity of the spooks from 1985 onwards as now being legal.

        So in effect you have a law where anything can be offered up as evidence which the defence team cant build a case against it. So any protagonist can be setup for whatever the UK Govt fancies.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: WTF!

          But at least you no longer have to worry about any european judges telling you that this is wrong

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF!

        Presumably also makes him essentially unemployable for the rest of his life.

        So we should add 50 years of dole payments to him and his family to the costs of the government proving their point.

        What a shitty world we live in.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really didn't know his PIN?

    I guess he's never restarted the device then (e.g. after an update) as the PIN is required at that point.

    I also get prompted to enter mine every now and then without a restart.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really didn't know his PIN?

      More strangely: I get the impression they can send him to jail for not revealing his PIN, but cannot compel him to apply his finger against the fingerprint sensor?

      I thought they always took your dabs as part of the arrest process anyway - and then you just transfer them onto a Gummy Bear.

      Or was the device, as you suggested, stuck in a state where only the PIN would do? Could he intentionally lock it that way? (I don't know - I have never owned an iPhone)

      1. Blitheringeejit
        WTF?

        Re: Really didn't know his PIN?

        This is the bit I really want to know more about. He claims that he didn't refuse to give the PIN, but didn't know it - on which basis, surely he would have been willing to apply digit to screen and unlock the device for the plod to examine? Did he refuse to do that - or did the plod not give him that option for some reason, like the phone was being held in some secure evidence store and there was no procedure available whereby he and it could be put in the same room?

        Anyone know?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Really didn't know his PIN?

          Interestingly here in His Majesty's Former Colonies they can't force you to divulge a password (some hippie rubbish about right to silence) but they can make people unlock with a fingerprint - the police claimed this is the same as their right to take suspect's prints.

  4. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

    "I ain't telling you shit, charge me with perverting the court of justice, fuck your interview and fuck you."

    It amazes me how many people take such a belligierent tone with the rozzers. Treat them with a bit of respect ('could you possibly be so kind as to find it within yourself to f*** off?') and it might help your case

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It amazes me how many people take such a belligierent tone with the rozzers.

      Of course we don't know whether this was his opening statement, or one made rather later in the (perhaps rather frustrating) process.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: It amazes me how many people take such a belligierent tone with the rozzers.

        I can assure you its incredibly hard not to take such a belligerent tone with the rozzers sometimes, some of them would make nuns swear.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Treat them with a bit of respect ('could you possibly be so kind as to find it within yourself to f*** off?') and it might help your case"

      If they are determined to find something to justify their operation then being reasonable doesn't discourage them from break bending the rules themselves. To some extent being "reasonable" may indicate the accused doesn't know their legal rights - or will not follow-through later with a justifiable complaint. Some defendant belligerence can indicate that they have to watch their step.

      On the other hand making an accused belligerent is a designed tactic when playing the "good cop, bad cop" routine.

  5. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Told world + dog?

    I can't think any armed force on the Middle Eastern end would want this chap. "Hi world, me and my platoon are over in the 3rd quadrant by central square with two howitzers ready to surprise ISIS"

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge

    A successful conviction under the Terrorism act!

    Can't wait for this to be become a part of 2017's tractor factory^W^Wterrorism stats.

  7. russell 6

    Something fishy about this story

    Having been in Syria to photo-document the war I have some experience of the situation. The first is this, if you are going to meet up with the Kurds you would not go from Jordan. Kurds are not based in southern Syria, you would try to cross from Turkey. Secondly, the Jordanian border with Syria is tighter than a virgin on her wedding night. It's not impossible to cross but is fraught with so many risks.

    There is a huge market in attracting westerners to try and enter Syria for the sole purpose of holding them for ransom. If the details of the story are correct, I think he was being set up and despite everything has had a very lucky escape

    https://russellchapman.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/documenting-syria/

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Something fishy about this story

      Interesting change of perspective, thanks for that.

      1. russell 6

        Re: Something fishy about this story

        Thanks Fred

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something fishy about this story

      Having been in Syria to photo-document the war

      Cheers, sir for your insight!

      If there's one thing I love about the Reg above all else, it is the variety, breadth and depth of experience and skill amongst the commentariat.

      And for the most part an absence of knobs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Something fishy about this story

        And for the most part an absence of knobs.

        That makes for a crappy stereo, though. Not a fan of the push button thingies.

        What? Oh, those knobs. Yeah, they can be a handful, er..

      2. russell 6

        Re: Something fishy about this story

        Thanks. Let me know if you have any questions about whats going on there

        1. DanceMan

          Re: Something fishy about this story

          I am curious about the state of Kurdish society. We tend to see them, through our Western media sources, as the "good guys," though I think French media also see them as coercing financial support through crime in France. Anyone have a good link to learn about religious tolerance, etc., in Kurdish controlled areas such as northern Iraq. Short of evidence to the contrary, I've thought the area of northern Iraq and eastern Turkey might benefit from a Kurdistan.

          1. InfiniteApathy
            Pint

            Re: Something fishy about this story

            From 2007 but you may find it informative. Pint is in memory of the Hitch.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAC_QGdIk1Y

          2. russell 6

            Re: Something fishy about this story

            Not an expert in Kurds but this an English version of one of their main news sites. http://rudaw.net/english

          3. Hans 1
            Unhappy

            Re: Something fishy about this story

            >I think French media also see them as coercing financial support through crime in France.

            Apart from Kurdish militants being killed in France, I have not heard anything about crimes involving Kurdes in France ... have a source ?

            1. DanceMan

              Re: Something fishy about this story

              "Apart from Kurdish militants being killed in France, I have not heard anything about crimes involving Kurdes in France ... have a source ?"

              Not a proper source: it was an element in a French police drama called Spiral (Engrenages.)

      3. russell 6

        Re: Something fishy about this story

        Thanks Ledswinger. My interests are quite broad too, including IT and is why I come here everyday. I'm hoping to have a corker of a story in the not too distant future about a european company and how at least one of its software products has a backdoor allowing it to take control of any system it is installed upon, is the backdoor intentional is impossible to prove, but it is known and now proven that the company has been taking advantage of it. We are potentially looking at industrial espionage on a massive scale. Watch this space

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Something fishy about this story

          I'm hoping to have a corker of a story in the not too distant future about a european company and how at least one of its software products has a backdoor allowing it to take control of any system it is installed upon, is the backdoor intentional is impossible to prove, but it is known and now proven that the company has been taking advantage of it. We are potentially looking at industrial espionage on a massive scale. Watch this space

          If it's Skype Luxembourg (thus Microsoft Europe), that's already known but I'm looking forward to it. Will ping you an email.

          1. russell 6

            Re: Something fishy about this story

            Isn't them

    3. 1Rafayal

      Re: Something fishy about this story

      I agree, given the large number of foreign fighters the Kurds have with them, it seems odd that the police decided to do their best to "put off" just one of them.

      1. russell 6

        Re: Something fishy about this story

        I could be wrong as is impossible to know the exact details of what happened but have the impression the police et al had a good idea of what was going on and the guy involved was being rather naive and needed a hard slap on the wrist to wake him up. I'm in regular contact with people on Turkish and Jordanian side of the Syrian border. I would not be crossing from Jordan under any circumstance

        1. koswix

          Re: Something fishy about this story

          So you're saying there's no whey he was joining the Kurds?

          1. cyberdemon Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Something fishy about this story

            that has to be one of the cheesiest jokes I've read in a while..

    4. Oh Homer
      Childcatcher

      Re: Something fishy about this story

      Yes, it does seem that Plod was just rescuing someone from his own naivety, and potentially saving taxpayers' money in the process.

      His very public incitement to violence also probably doesn't help an already tense situation, as it just escalates retribution - exactly the same sort of thing that created ISIS in the first place.

      Maybe Plod could have a word with our warmongering politicians too, and the oil barons that fund them, to stop them perpetuating the cycle of violence and wasting taxpayers' money on their hegemonic ambitions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Something fishy about this story

        Saving him from his own naivety or not, it does seem a little harsh to convict the chap with a terrorism offence. He was after all responding to western propaganda that ISIS are evil and should be fought.

        Smacks a little of hypocrisy, does it not?

        1. annodomini2

          Re: Something fishy about this story

          Saving him from his own naivety or not, it does seem a little harsh to convict the chap with a terrorism offence. He was after all responding to western propaganda that ISIS are evil and should be fought.

          Smacks a little of hypocrisy, does it not?

          If the individuals or group(s) contacting him are "terrorists" or have "terrorist connections", even if he doesn't know it, that would be of interest to on going investigations.

          While he himself may not be a "terrorist", denying access to the information may be classed as indirectly defending the actions of said "terrorists".

          Possibly the reason for the lesser offence.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All about profit

    Imagine if every Tom, Dick and Harriet just went off to war like that.

    Horror of horrors!

    That sort of approach would seriously impact the share price of the large weapon manufacturers.

    Bombs kill people too ya know!!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Right to remain silent

    When will someone take a case against the UK's laws that criminalise failure to reveal PIN/password to the European Court of Human Rights? (and no, the ECHR is not part of the EU, so it will continue to have jurisdiction over the UK unless the UK decides to withdraw from the ECHR, which I do not put beyond dictator, errm sorry, Prime Minister May)

    The right to remain silent and to not have to incriminate oneself are part and parcel of the Fair Procedure right under Article 6 of the ECHR.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Right to remain silent

      What a good job Theresa Stasi May can now remove us from the EU Human Rights act that affords us any protection against the fascist Tories.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Right to remain silent

      The ECHR threw our right to not self-incriminate under the bus with the speeding cases a few years ago.

      The summary judgement went something like "We recognise the need to protect people from being forced to self-incriminate, but speeding is really bad, so f**k your basic human rights."

      1. IWVC

        Re: Right to remain silent

        So that included the really bad offences of parking and using a bus lane? Both of which are treated in the same way - the registered keeper of the vehicle is fined unless he/she can prove someone else was in charge at the time??

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Right to remain silent

          That's not self incrimination - just the opposite.

  10. Ionas

    It's great to be living in the free world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Aye, we've never had it so good.

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