The Appellant AB argued that the evidence that was obtained by police officers was obtained unlawfully. It was argued that there was no public element of the alleged offence which was enough to establish breach of the peace.
In 2021 it was the police received a Suspicious Activity Report showing that the appellant had sent money to a South African Website. This website displayed concerns about child exploitation.
The police then attended the accused house and asked if it was “okay to come in and have a word” and as a result was also asked if he would be willing to give the police his devices for examination.
On the appeal that was submitted it was the police were acting in the knowledge of having tried and failed to obtain a search warrant and wanted him to cooperate. He was not properly informed that he did not need to comply with the request of handing over his devices. If he had refused there would have been no further action against him.
Appeal Sheriff Cubie delivered his opinion to the Court and noted that “we consider that the police officers were entitled to attend, ask questions about the interaction with the website, and even view the footage” however by the time the police had wanted to recover any items which they knew that they had not been able to do so with a search warrant a line was crossed here and it was simply unfair.
In this situation, the appellant successfully cooperated and was in the belief that he did not commit an offence. As a result of this the appeal against conviction was therefore allowed.