herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Phone found in reservoir linked to Graham Dwyer, court told

Elaine O'Hara (left) and Graham Dwyer (right)
Elaine O'Hara (left) and Graham Dwyer (right)

A MOBILE phone found at the bottom of Vartry Reservoir after Elaine O'Hara's remains were discovered was linked to Graham Dwyer in an analysis of motorway toll booth records, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The Nokia phone that was found in the reservoir was picked up by mobile phone cells in Dublin and Galway on the same day in July, 2012 that Mr Dwyer's car was identified as having been driven between the two cities.

The link was made by an analyst working for the gardai who was attempting to identify the user of the Nokia.

Mr Dwyer (42), an architect of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, is pleading not guilty to the murder of Ms O'Hara (36) at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.

Ms O'Hara, from Killiney, was last seen alive near Shanganagh Cemetery in Shankill that day. The prosecution maintains Mr Dwyer killed her for his own sexual gratification.

Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer

Crime and policing analyst, Sarah Skedd, told the court of five mobile phone numbers that were of interest to the gardai.

An 086 3311207 phone number had been used for Elaine's iPhone 4, between October 7, 2011 and May 30, 2012.

RECORDS

From May 30 onwards, it continued to be associated with her iPhone 4S. The 087 2100407 number was Mr Dwyer's work number and records showed it being used between October 2011 and October 2012. Records showed 083 1103474 had been used in a handset between October 7, 2011 and July 12, 2012. That phone has never been retrieved.

The number 086 1759076 was used in a Nokia 1616 between December 1, 2012 and August 22, 2012. Another number 086 1759151 was used in a Nokia 16 between November 30, 2011 and August 22, 2012. Both Nokia phones were purchased on November 20, 2011, and found in the reservoir at Roundwood, Co Wicklow.

Ms Skedd agreed with Sean Guerin SC, prosecuting, that she examined links between the five phones and part of her role was to identify the user of the number 086 1759076.

Elaine O'Hara
Elaine O'Hara

She said records showed a lot of messages were sent and received in the Dublin 2 area during office hours on Monday to Friday, and in south Co Dublin in the evenings.

While the dates she examined initially spanned June to October 2, 2012, she focused on July 4, 2012, when she noted the phone was picked up on mobile phone cells in Galway city in the morning and in south Co Dublin that afternoon, the court heard.

"There was a gap of two hours and 11 minutes which suggested the use of the motorway system," Ms Skedd said, agreeing that she discussed it with Superintendent JJ Keane who sought the records for the M4 and M6 toll booths.

Ms Skedd said she later examined the vehicles that passed through the toll stations between 12.30pm and 2.15pm and looked at which ones belonged to someone with an address in south Co Dublin.

The analyst agreed she checked all cars that passed through the M4 at Enfield an hour after they went through the M6 toll at Ballinasloe and checked addresses on the Garda database. She said while one car reg was recorded as 99 G 11850 at one toll and and as 99 C 11850 on the second booth but as '11850' was the number for directory enquiries it "caught my eye".

While the photograph at one of the booths showed a small blue car, a check of the 99 C reg revealed it was not a small blue car. So it was concluded the 'C' was an "error" or "misreading", she agreed.

The court heard that Ms Skedd identified Mr Dwyer, of Foxrock, Co Dublin, as the owner of the 99 G 11850 car and told gardai.

The jury also heard mobile phone bill records from Vodafone Ireland confirmed that between January 1, 2008 and December 4, 2009 there were 847 texts sent from Mr Dwyer's work phone to Ms O'Hara's iPhone. Garda Paul Kane, of Dundrum Garda Station, said he received a copy of the records for the number 087 2100407 on October 7, 2014. On one day - January 13, 2009 - 53 texts were sent from Mr Dwyer's phone to Ms O'Hara, the jury was told.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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