Wednesday 13 November 2019

Phone found in reservoir 'linked' to Dwyer, court told

Sarah Stack

A mobile phone found in a reservoir by gardai investigating Elaine O'Hara's death was linked to Graham Dwyer by a crime and policing analyst, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Sarah Skedd used toll booth records to track the owner of a car that travelled between Dublin and Galway on July 4, 2012 - the day the number of the Nokia phone was picked up on mobile phone cells in both locations, the jury was told.

Ms Skedd, who examined five numbers at the centre of the murder investigation, said she set out to identify the user of the number 086 1759076, which was being used in the Dublin 2 area during weekday office hours and in south Co Dublin in the evenings.

The phone was one of the two Nokia phones bought in November 2011 and found in the reservoir at Roundwood, Co Wicklow, after Ms O'Hara's remains were discovered in the Dublin mountains in September 2013.

Mr Dwyer (42) denies murdering the 36-year-old on August 22, 2012.

When analysing data, Ms Skedd said she noted the 086 phone was picked up on phone cells in Galway city before noon on July 4, 2012, and in south Co Dublin that evening.

"There was a gap of two hours and 11 minutes which suggested the use of the motorway system," said Ms Skedd, who then examined which vehicles which passed through the M6 toll at Ballinasloe and M4 toll at Enfield between 12.30pm and 2.15pm that day belonged to someone living in south Dublin.

Despite one car reg being recorded as 99 G 11850 at one toll and as 99 C 11850 on the second, the '11850' number "caught her eye" as it was used by directory enquiries.

She checked the Garda database and found the 'C' was an error or misreading and identified Mr Dwyer as the registered owner of the 'G' reg and informed detectives.

Mr Dwyer, who lived in Foxrock and worked in Dublin 2, has already admitted ownership for the 99 G 11850 car, the jury was told.

Separately, it was alleged Mr Dwyer sent 847 text messages to Ms O'Hara from his work phone between January 1 2008 and December 4 2009.

Bills from Vodafone showed that on one date - January 13, 2009 - 53 texts were sent from the 087 2100407 number to Ms O'Hara's iPhone, 086 3311207, Garda Paul Kane said. One call to her voicemail on December 9, 2008, was noted.

Garda Kane agreed with Remy Farrell SC, defending, the bills did not confirm the time or frequency of the texts, or if they had been replies.

Irish Independent

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