Man jailed for not revealing iPhone passcode to police during child abuse investigation

A man has been jailed for giving an incorrect iPhone passcode to police.iStock

A man accused of "hitting and scratching" his young daughter has been jailed for almost six months for not providing police with a lock code to access his iPhone.

Hollywood resident Christopher Wheeler was adamant that the code he gave to law enforcement officers was correct, but the iPhone's lock screen did not yield.

The Florida court judge presiding over the case, who previously found Wheeler, 41, guilty of contempt of court, demanded that he turn over the correct four-digit number sequence, but Wheeler argued: "I swear, under oath, I've given [the detectives] the password."

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The iPhone in question is presumed to hold potential evidence of the injuries Wheeler is accused of inflicting on his daughter. Despite receiving a search warrant for the smartphone, however, any possible photos were unable to be used in the case due to the passcode barrier.

Wheeler, who was arrested in March, was eventually jailed for 180 days, although according to the Miami Herald he will be released if he relinquishes the correct passcode.

Apple's notoriously secure iOS software has proved to be a significant hurdle in a number of court cases and police investigations over the years. The most high-profile case led to a bitter legal stand-off between the FBI and the Cupertino giant after the iPhone-maker refused to allow backdoor entry into the San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook's smartphone.

The Islamic State-inspired terrorist's iPhone 5C was eventually cracked, however the hacking tool's origin is still unknown.

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