Greater Manchester Police v Andrews: Admn 23 May 2011

The CC appealed by case stated against a refusal of an order under the 2000 Act for the disclosure by the defendant of a cryptography key. The defendant had a history of sexual offences against children and had failed to keep to the terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order. He was found with indecent images of children on his computer, but pen drives also found were encrypted. The defendant had refused to release a password. He had since been convicted of other similar offences, but the applicant persisted with his request. The lower court asked whether it had been correct to refuse the request since here here was no evidence that the defendant had a software key.
Held: The appeal was allowed. The judge’s interpretation was too limited: ‘it was a perfectly legitimate inference to draw from the circumstances of recovery of the pen drives that the respondent might know encryption keys relating to the information stored on them.’ and ‘as stated in paragraph 24 of the judgment in S privilege against self-incrimination may be engaged by the requirement of disclosure, that is it may arise at the permission stage. Indeed it seems to me that it did in the present case. However I consider that, as in S, the privilege in this case is engaged only to a very limited extent. I consider that the interference to that limited extent is entirely proportionate to the public interest within the meaning of section 49(2)(c) of the Act and that, insofar as the judge decided otherwise, he was wrong to do so. ‘

Sir Anthony May P, McCombe J
[2011] EWHC 1966 (Admin)
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 49, Protection of Children Act 1978 1
England and Wales
CitedSaunders v The United Kingdom ECHR 17-Dec-1996
(Grand Chamber) The subsequent use against a defendant in a prosecution, of evidence which had been obtained under compulsion in company insolvency procedures was a convention breach of Art 6. Although not specifically mentioned in Article 6 of the . .
CitedRegina v S and A CACD 9-Oct-2008
The defendant appealed against his conviction under the 2000 Act for failing to disclose the key used to encrypt a computer file. He was subject to a control order as a suspected terrorist. As the police raided his house, they found the key had been . .
CitedRegina v Kearns CACD 22-Mar-2002
The defendant had failed to account for the disappearance of a substantial part of his estate to the official receiver following his bankruptcy. He appealed his conviction for failing to provide an account, saying that the requirement to provide . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.442194