A TEST message from someone saying “must get fit for the murder” was found on a laptop belonging to Elaine O’Hara, the Central Criminal Court has heard.
Det Sgt Alan Browne told the jury at the Central Criminal Court that he technically examined Ms O’Hara’s Apple mac laptop and extracted thousands of text messages.
The court heard files were recovered from unallocated space, which the court heard was free space on a hard drive where the remnants of deleted information and messages remain.
Several messages were recovered between Ms O’Hara’s iPhone and a number - 083 1103474 – in what was called unallocated clusters, Anne Marie Lawlor, prosecuting barrister said.
“Good, looking forward to getting new bike tomorrow to try and lose weight. Must get fit for the murder,” she read in one recovered text.
Another read: “Terrible 15pc pay cut and came 5th in flying,” she said.
The exact dates and times of the texts will he given at a later date, the court heard.
Det Browne was giving evidence in the trial of architect Graham Dwyer (42), of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, who is pleading not guilty to the murder of Ms O’Hara (36) at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.
Ms O’Hara, a childcare assistant from Killiney, was last seen alive near Shanganagh Cemetery in Shankill that day.
Her remains were found by a dog walker in undergrowth in the Dublin mountains on September 13, 2013.
The prosecution maintains Mr Dwyer killed her for his own sexual gratification.
The court also heard from Detective Garda Brid Wallace of the Garda computer crime unit who said she became involved in the investigation in September 2013 after Ms O’Hara’s remains were recovered.
She said she contacted Det Gda Cathal Delaney who initially examined Ms O’Hara laptop a year earlier, and requested his findings.
Det Gda Wallace told Ms Lawlor that she created a forensic image of Ms O’Hara’s hard drive, so she took an identical copy of all the information on it without interfering with the original device.
She had noticed in Det Delaney’s files that several messages had been discovered on Ms O’Hara’s iPhone from the number 083 1103474.
That number had been saved in this phone under the contact ‘David’, Ms Lawlor said.
Det Gda Wallace said she ran keyword search and discovered messages between Ms O’Hara and the 083 number which she called “unallocated clusters”.
By searching the number she also found a calendar entry on June 30, 2011, stating: “Graham’s phone number 083 1103474” and another on the same date saying: “school finished for summer”, the court heard.
The officer was asked by Ms Lawlor if she uncovered any other messages between Ms O’Hara and the 083 number.
“There was a large number of messages extracted,” she replied.
The court heard other computer experts were drafted in to examine the contents of the message and extract the exact dates and times they were sent.
More than 4,000 text messages to and from Ms O’Hara’s phones were recovered from the computer’s hard drive, the jury was told.
Det Garda Wallace said she could see there were extra messages in the unallocated space on the hard drive that were not date and time stamped and she wanted these in a human readable format.
She asked Det Sgt Alan Browne to do this.
In evidence, Det Sgt Browne agreed with Ms Lawlor that when data was saved by the Operating System, it was indexed and able to be recovered from an allocated space.
However, when a file was deleted either by the computer or manually, it went into an unallocated space and could only be recovered by using forensic software.
Det Sgt Brown explained that he was asked to look at messages which had been stored in SQ light files, which were databases containing text messages.
On March 21, Det Gda Wallace brought him the hard drive and made a forensic copy of it. Text messages were extracted from allocated and unallocated space.
“I recovered over 1,400 SQ light files and 14 had the table content that would be associated with an SMS database,” he said.
The trial continues.