A UK man who stabbed his brother has been jailed – by a judge using an iPhone

Skype Splash Screen
Skype Splash Screen (Image credit: Joseph Keller/iMore)

What you need to know

  • Carlisle Judge Nicholas Barker was trying to sentence a man for a stabbing.
  • He was using Skype on an unnamed notebook when difficulties struck.
  • He resorted to using an iPhone to complete the sentencing.

A Carlisle judge may have become the first in the UK to sentence someone via iPhone after their computer refused to work during a Skype call. The whole thing was being done remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but even judges can't make everything work properly at the first time of asking.

Judge Nicholas Barker ended up using his iPhone to complete the Skype call, sentencing former soldier Andrew Ryan to 26 months in jail according to local news reports.

Judge Nicholas Barker made what was probably legal history during the Skype court hearing yesterday, resorting to his iPhone when technological problems conspired to prevent him from using his laptop as has been the usual practice during the lockdown court hearings.

You can read the background of the attack and court case in the News and Star report but it does pose an interesting question – is this the first time someone's been sentenced via iPhone. In the UK, at least.

Answers on a postcard. Or in the comments, if you prefer.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.