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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34889
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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is it illegal if a wife uses a computer program to obtain deleted

Customer Question

is it illegal if a wife uses a computer program to obtain deleted text messages from her husbands phone without his permission?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My friend has been having an affair. He deleted his text messages to his mistress and phone logs etc. However his wife found an app which you put on the computer and plug the phone in and it retrieves all deleted text messages included pictures. He was not aware that this could be done. She got hold of his phone whilst he was outside, so without his permission. He had a key lock on it, but she must have worked out what it was. The pictures could be damaging to him and his mistress. Is it illegal for her to do this? If so, can he make her delete these messages/photos?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Its difficult to tell whats happened here really.

There is an offence of computer misuse which is probably being committed here. Also, she does seem to have committed the offence of hacking.

Whether the police will be interested or not is another matter. They are not always quick to act upon these offences I'm afraid.

Even if they do act though, they will not force her to delete these images but they will probably seize them as evidence and refuse to give them back because they were unlawfully obtained.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i have read that if it goes to a divorce, which is a long way off if at all, that having obtained evidence this way it is inadmissable as evidence. Is that correct?

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I have been asked to look at this
It would simply not be needed or worthwhile as evidence in any event making the point irrelevant
The pictures are unlikely to be graphic evidence of infidelity (the actual act) and Unreasonable Behaviour is easy to prove and very hard to defend
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If she were to forward those messages/photos or put them on a social media website, would that then be a criminal offence?

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Not necessarily unless they are indecent