Fitness trackers help millions of people keep a track of their activity. However, for one homicidal cycling fanatic, it caused his capture. His Garmin GPS watch was used to track his location which matched those of his victims.
Police in Merseyside, northwest England, UK, revealed Mark Fellows was found guilty of two gangland murders.
Fellows, 38, was convicted of the murder of John Kinsella and gang member Paul Massy in 2015.
John Kinsella was shot on 5th May 2018 by a masked individual on a bicycle wearing a high-visibility vest. The shooter was easily picked up on CCTV cameras because of the clothing. He was sentenced to life in prison for the two murders.
While searching Fellows’ home, police found and seized a Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch. It was pointed out by a prosecutor, that this was a similar watch to the one worn by Fellows in the Great Machester Run on 10 May 2015.
The watch was taken to satellite radio expert, Professor James Last for examination. Professor Last discovered the watch was used near the victims home on 29th April 2015. This was two months before he was gunned down.
Analyzing the Data
Professor Last testified that the watch mapped out Fellows’ journey and the escape route he took. The watch also gave evidence of Fellows’ speed. Initially, Fellows was travelling at 12mph, which suggested he was on a bicycle. He was then shown to slow to 3mph near grassland.
TomTom data was also examined from a satellite navigation system in a car linked to Fellows. The data showed the vehicle visited a man with a van prosecutors said Fellows used. It also showed the vehicle near an area where a mobile was used tied to Fellows.
Although police realized that there were commonalities between the murders of Massey and Kinsella, it was the Garmin data that allowed them to tie them to Fellows.
Recent legal arguments in the Carpenter v United States case, however, has highlighted what data can be obtained. A judge last week ruled that Federal Officers cannot force someone to unlock their phone with biometrics such as fingerprint or iris scan.