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Alesha MacPhail: Murder suspect’s phone searched ‘how do police find DNA’, court hears | UK News



A phone belonging to the teenager accused of killing six-year-old Alesha MacPhail was used to search “how do police find DNA”, a court has heard.

The handset was also used a minute later to access an article from the “Howstuffworks” site entitled “collecting DNA evidence”, the jury was told.

Cyber crime investigator Peter Benson told the High Court in Glasgow he had forensically extracted information from the accused’s iPhone 6.

The internet search had taken place at 12.32am, the day after Alesha’s body had been found.

The 16-year-old defendant denies abducting, raping and murdering the little girl on 2 July last year on the Isle of Bute.

He has lodged a special defence blaming Toni McLachlan, the girlfriend of Alesha’s father.

Ms McLachlan has denied any involvement.

Toni McLachlan, girlfriend of Robert MacPhail (back), was accused by the 16-year-old suspect of killing Alesha MacPhail
Toni McLachlan, girlfriend of Alesha’s father Robert MacPhail (back), denies any involvement in her death

The court also heard evidence from Detective Constable Ian Wilson, who conducted an interview with the accused following his arrest.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested at his home on 4 July 2018 and taken to Helen Street police station in Glasgow.

DC Wilson told the jury the teenager asked for a solicitor to be present during the subsequent police interview.

He repeatedly answered “no comment” to questions and assertions made by the interviewing officers, and as he was told he was being charged with Alesha’s murder.

DC Wilson said this was not unusual and was within his rights.

Forensic scientist Sarah Jones told the court there was strong evidence that fibres retrieved from Alesha’s vest came from jogging bottoms recovered from the shoreline.

She had also examined Alesha’s pants and shorts and said there was strong evidence that fibres recovered from them came from the jogging trousers.

The court was shown CCTV footage from different locations on the morning Alesha went missing.

In one piece of footage from a camera at Marine Place on Rothesay, Detective Constable Lisa Whitelaw, a CCTV coordinator, said a “figure slows down and appears to be carrying something in front of them”.

The trial before Lord Matthews continues.

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