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Apple refuses to unlock iPad containing funeral wishes of 18-year-old who died of cancer

Mirror logo Mirror 25/03/2017 Naomi Corrigan
Credits: Evening Gazette © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Evening Gazette

Apple refuses to unlock an iPad containing the funeral wishes of an 18-year-old who died of cancer, a family claim.

Tragic Liam Wright's sister has told of her family’s battle to retrieve the precious memories of the much-loved teenager.

Mirror Online reported in December how Liam had raised £250,000 for charity before finally losing his battle against type of rare bone cancer.

Members of his devastated family in Brotton in North Yorkshire knew his Apple iPad contained details of Liam’s last wishes regarding his funeral arrangements.

However Gazette Live reports how they were forced to go ahead with the service not knowing them as they were unable to unlock the device after a software update - and they claim Apple would not assist them.

Three months on and the family are continuing the fight to access the iPad for their treasured photos and videos of Liam but so far say they have “hit a brick wall” with the media giant.

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Liam’s mum bought the iPad for her son several years ago and it was registered under his name.

“When he got a phone, he continued to use the iPad but also allowed the rest of his family and younger relatives to use it as well,” said his sister Kerry Lamb.

“It has lots of photos and videos on it.

“It went into activation lock on December 5.

"By that point, Liam was too poorly to speak to tell us the code so we contacted Apple.

“We knew he had made quite a few notes about his funeral on the iPad.

“He hadn’t want to speak about it - we knew he was dying and he knew he was dying - but it was not a conversation he wanted to have.

“He was the only one who knew the code so we needed Apple to unlock it.”

But Apple did not help, she claimed.

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Liam finally lost his battle on December 7 - surrounded by his close family - leaving behind his mum Jane, sisters, Kerry, and Kirsty, and nieces and nephews, Sean, Tyler and Aisha.

“The funeral directors were coming and we knew Liam had put notes on his iPad about his funeral,” said Kerry.

“We wanted to see if there was anything written on there about what he wanted.”

They again contacted Apple but were told they would need to send a death certificate and solicitor's letter which cost them £120.

“They are saying it’s not the relevant information and they now want a court order costing us £360,” said Kerry.

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“We’ve been told by the solicitor that the court is unlikely to grant us the court order with it being just one company so we don’t know what we can do.

“All we want is the photos and videos.

“It’s just ridiculous. I know they have data protection rules but we were even able to close his bank account with the death certificate.

“We’ve been passed from pillar to post. It seems you get different answers depending on who you speak to.

“Mum spoke to them and said ‘You can’t do this it’s wrong. How would you feel if it was photos of your son?’

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“She’s not too bad at the moment but it gets her very upset when she sees other people’s photos of Liam and she can’t even access her own.”

Liam discovered he had a rare type of bone cancer called osteosarcoma after sustaining a football injury.

It appeared the former Freebrough Academy pupil was getting better - but early last year he received the devastating news that his cancer was terminal.

He did not tell his closest friends he had weeks to live because he didn’t want them to worry.

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The aspiring personal trainer had hoped to work with children who “didn’t fit the sporting category”.

Kerry said: “He hoped to work with children who were overweight, and he wanted to give them a bit of confidence.

“He was a gentle giant. He loved everyone and everyone loved him.”

The Gazette contacted Apple in relation to the family’s complaint but have not received a response.

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