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Apple's "Find My iPhone" feature has been credited with helping to push back the tide of iPhone thefts, and stories abound of users being reunited with their handsets after using the nifty feature. But when Derek Grant of Glasgow, Scotland used the feature to find his son's stolen iPhone, the day ended in tragedy. Yesterday, Grant pleaded guilty to a homicide charge in a Glasgow court.
As the Daily Record reports, the phone was stolen from Grant's son at knifepoint on August 30 of last year as he walked home from work at McDonald's. Using the app on another device, Grant realized that the phone was nearby and set off with his three sons to recover it from Patrick Bradley, "who had a significant record for violence." For protection, he took a knife with him.
As the Record describes it, the 29-year-old Bradley didn't give up the phone upon being caught; instead, he stabbed Grant in the left eye, blinding him. Grant "lashed out" in response and repeatedly stabbed Bradley, who died the next morning from cardiac arrest.
Grant and his sons were initially charged with murder, but the court chose not to accept the "guilty" pleas of his children. Grant's "guilty" plea managed to the charge reduced to "culpable homicide." If that weren't bad enough, Grant's injury also cost him his job as a driver.
“I wish to declare for the record that at the time of this incident, I was acting in self-defense," Grant said. His lawyer, Ian Duguid, stated that Grant's actions were only a “reaction to the extreme violence" of the situation. Sentencing is scheduled for September 1.
Grant's unfortunate incident happened mere days ahead of the release of iOS 7's Activation Lock, which requires the Apple ID and password of the original owner to wipe the phone before it can be assigned to a different user. Coupled with Find My iPhone, it's played a heavy role in decline of iPhone thefts (which nevertheless continue to be a problem).
And if you ever find yourself in a situation similar to that which Derek Grant found himself in last August — just to be on the safe side, call the cops.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.