Saturday 20 January 2018

'Master' and 'Slave' phones in contact 64 times on day Elaine went missing

Crime and Policing Analyst Sarah Skedd
Crime and Policing Analyst Sarah Skedd

THE ‘Master’ phone that was allegedly used by Graham Dwyer was in contact with the ‘Slave’ mobile 64 times on the day Elaine O’Hara disappeared, the jury heard.

The two Nokia phones that were later found at the bottom of Vartry Reservoir by investigating gardai had been used exclusively to contact each other, an analyst said.

The phones only had each other’s numbers saved in their contacts, under the names “mstr” and “slv”.

Prosecutor Sean Guerin SC said these were the consonants of “master” and “slave.”

The court also heard there were 4,867 communications – mostly text messages – between the five phone numbers under investigation.

Crime and Policing Analyst Sarah Skedd gave evidence of contacts made between the phones.


There were 2,639 communications between 083 1103474 (a phone bought under the name ‘Goroon Caisholm’) and Ms O’Hara’s 086 3311207 iPhone 4 between March 25, 2011 (when the ‘Goroon’ phone was bought) and July 12, 2012.

There were 1,380 contacts between the two phones from the reservoir – ‘Master’ 086 1759076 and ‘Slave’ 086 1759151 – from December 1, 2011 to August 22, 2012. This included 64 contacts on the day Ms O’Hara disappeared.

The jury was also told that there were five unanswered calls from Ms O’Hara’s iPhone to the ‘slv’ phone, which Mr Guerin said was “consistent with a person with two phones who can’t hear the second one ringing it and cutting it off” to find it.

Also recorded were 847 messages from Mr Dwyer’s 087 2100407 work phone to Ms O’Hara’s iPhone 086 3311207 between January 13, 2008 and December 4, 2009. Ms Skedd said that she would say the two Nokia phones were used exclusively for contacting each other and topping up.


There was evidence of contact between Ms O’Hara’s phone and the ‘Goroon Caisholm’ phone, as well as between the ‘Master’ and ‘Slave’ phones and between the ‘Master’ and Ms O’Hara’s phone.

Ms Skedd agreed that for the ‘Goroon’ phone, records showed 38 communications with Ms O’Hara’s phone on the day it was bought, on March 25, 2011 which continued through that year.

On November 30, 2011 the two phones from the reservoir were bought and the following day, there were 20 communications between the ‘Goroon’ number and Ms O’Hara’s iPhone, as well as 30 between the two reservoir phones, Ms Skedd confirmed.

On December 6, there were six contacts between the old phones and contact continued exclusively after that between the two new Nokias. That continued until January 21, 2012 and three days after that, there was a single contact between the ‘Master’ phone and Ms O’Hara’s iPhone. This was a call to Ms O’Hara’s voicemail.

In March and June 2012, there was some contact between the original two phones. On June 26, there was the first communication in some time between the Nokia phones and this continued through June, becoming “fairly extensive”, rising to 94 on July 11, 2012. On each of those dates there was also communication again between the original two phones, then again on July 12.

On that day, there were 10 communications between the ‘Goroon’ phone and Ms O’Hara’s iPhone and these were the last between those two numbers, Ms Skedd agreed. Mr Guerin asked Ms Skedd if there had been any communication after August 22.

“No, that was it,” Ms Skedd replied.


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