A man who tracked down his allegedly stolen iPad to a Forde townhouse in Canberra using the Find My iPad service had a legitimate reason for going to the property, a court has heard.
The man’s iPad was allegedly taken from a construction site in Braddon in May and he tracked it down to Forde using the Find My iPad app and a GPS a few days later.
When police eventually searched the townhouse, they found the device and a collection of items that were allegedly stolen.
But a lawyer for the man who lives in the house says the victim was committing “electronic trespass” when he used the Find My iPad app to trigger an alarm on his device.
The lawyer says the man also trespassed physically on the property during his search for the missing iPad when he walked around the house and looked into a window.
The ACT Magistrates Court heard that the alleged victim was interfering with the townhouse resident’s right to privacy and peaceful occupation of his premises.
Prosecutors have applied for a court order to obtain the Forde man’s fingerprints but he is fighting the order.
His lawyer argued the alleged victim had also trespassed electronically by setting off an alarm in an effort to pinpoint the iPad, which he then heard ringing inside the house.
He also said the man had no right to go onto private property and conduct a search for the iPad.
But the prosecution argued there was no trespass because the alleged victim was there for a legitimate purpose to recover his property.
The court also heard there was nothing to show that the man was not in fact standing on public property when he approached the house.
The situation was likened to a game of backyard cricket where players went to fetch a ball struck over the fence.
They might not know which back garden the ball had landed in but could look over neighbouring fences to find it.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said she would need to reserve her decision further and adjourned the matter to next week.