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Londoner jailed after refusing to unlock his mobile phones

Also picked up 5½ years' stripey suntan time for illegal possession of firearms

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 & Wesson chambered in .44” Russian and a Belgian copy of a Smith & Wesson .41”-calibre Frontier Army gate-loading revolver.

Police said a tip-off led to them searching Jones' home under a warrant, which led to the discovery of the two pistols. Both were inside his bedroom wardrobe.

He claimed, during his trial, that he had the revolvers because he was an antique gun collector. An Old Bailey jury saw through this and found him guilty on 14 July. He was sentenced for his crimes at the same court yesterday.

Jones also received a three month sentence, to run consecutively from the firearms sentences, for failing to disclose the passcodes for his phones.

At the time of his arrest he had two phones on him but refused to unlock them for detectives to view their contents. Police served a section 49 notice on him under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act but Jones did not comply. Section 49 notices are used to force suspects to allow investigators to unlock their devices by handing over passwords.

The penalty for not handing over your password on demand to state investigators is two years in prison, unless the case involves “child indecency” or national security, when the potential sentence more than doubles to five years.

The National Crime Agency, a troubled police force that likes to promote itself as Britain's equivalent of the FBI, recently issued a section 49 notice against alleged hacker Lauri Love. Love refused to comply and the NCA, instead of going after Love on charges of refusing to comply, abused court procedures, in a separate case Love had brought against the police to get his confiscated property returned, to try to force him to disclose the password anyway. The judge threw out this attempt to evade lawful procedures handed down for police to obey. ®

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