A 20-year-old has been jailed for refusing to tell police his pin code during a drugs investigation.
Louis Burtenshaw was arrested after a Beau Sejour membership card containing his personal details was found in a rucksack along with some cash, cannabis and MDMA tablets.
While at the police station, he was seen to be hiding something in his fist. A yellow tablet fell to the floor, and Burtenshaw had a yellow residue on his hands, which was later ruled to be an ecstasy tablet.
A search of his home revealed five more ecstasy tablets and a bag containing a quantity of cash.
During the investigation, Burtenshaw refused to tell police the code to gain access to his mobile phone, meaning officers were unable to find out any more information or evidence of the offences he was alleged to have committed.
Burtenshaw admitted the bag was his, but denied that the £1,700 inside it had come from selling drugs, saying he had won £1,000 on a scratch card.
In his defence, the Magistrate’s Court heard that while Burtenshaw has been in custody he has effectively been in solitary confinement, because of lockdown regulations, which he has described as a distressing experience. He has also had his food brought to him while at Les Nicolles, and a threatening note was delivered to him with one of his meals.
Judge Graeme McKerrell said Burtenshaw had a bad record and regarded the law as “an inconvenience that puts barriers in the way of doing what he wanted to do”. He said that when Burtenshaw refused to provide his passcode to police, he had calculated that doing so would have got him into more trouble.
“The only credit is that you were candid about why you refused to give details about your phone,” Judge McKerrell said.
For the failing to provide police with his pin code, in contravention of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2003, Burtenshaw was sentenced to six months’ youth detention. For possession of ecstasy tablets at the police station, he was sentenced to one month’s youth detention, to run consecutively.
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