Coventry & Warwickshire

Father told by Apple to get court order for dead son's data

Morgan Hehir Image copyright Warwickshire Police
Image caption Morgan Hehir was fatally stabbed in Nuneaton on Halloween

A father has been told by tech giant Apple he must obtain a court order to access photos and memories from his murdered son's computer.

Morgan Hehir, from Warwickshire, was stabbed with a steak knife in the street on 31 October last year. Three men were jailed last month.

His father, Colin, said the company should help the bereaved family and avoid "going down a legal route".

Apple said it was "not appropriate" to make that decision without permission.

The 20-year-old, from Nuneaton, died in a "ferocious" and "unprovoked" attack as he walked through the town on Halloween.

Declan Gray was given a life term after admitting murder at Warwick Crown Court.

Karlton Gray and Simon Rowbotham were jailed after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Image copyright Warwickshire Police
Image caption Declan Gray, Karlton Gray and Simon Rowbotham received reduced jail terms after admitting killing Morgan Hehir

Mr Hehir told the BBC he had provided Apple with death and probate certificates but was informed by the company he need a court order to access data on his son's Macbook.

He said the family had not anticipated it would be a problem and did not understand why Apple would not help them.

"Morgan owns the computer and it's Morgan's data. [But] Apple controls the access to Morgan's data, even though they don't own his computer or have privilege to his data.

"We're put on this earth to help one another and Apple should help people in our situation," he said.

An Apple spokesman said: "In the absence of permission for third party access to an account, it is impossible to be certain what access the user would have wanted and we do not consider it is appropriate that Apple make the decision.

"However, in such cases, we can assist subject to appropriate court order.

"We understand this kind of situation is extremely difficult and will continue to do everything possible to help."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites