A TEENAGE boy accused of raping and murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail had a Google search for “how do police find DNA” on his iPhone, a court heard today.
The six-year-old’s body was discovered in woodland on July 2 on the Isle of Bute where she had been spending a summer break with her dad and grandparents at their home.
An iPhone belonging to a 16-year-old boy accused of murdering and raping the youngster was used to Google “how do police find DNA” the day after she was discovered dead, it is said.
Jurors were also told the phone was used to call Alesha’s dad Robert at 1.40am on the day she died and a message was sent to Robert’s girlfriend Toni McLachlan.
The boy, who legally cannot be named, denies murder and has lodged a special defence blaming Ms McLachlan for her death.
Cyber crime team leader Peter Benson told Glasgow’s High Court internet history showed a page on collecting DNA evidence, which indicates “the person using the phone has gone to one of the hits”.
Mr Benson also told jurors there was “no indication” between the teen and Ms McLachlan on Instagram – despite his lawyer suggesting they had been in contact.
The boy claims he had sex with Ms McLachlan in a bus shelter before she planted his DNA on the youngster’s body.
But she told jurors last week she “loved” Alesha and had nothing to do with her death.
Alesha had 117 injuries on her body and died from “forceful pressure to her neck and face”, jurors have been told previously.
Her feet were uninjured – suggesting she’d been carried to the scene – and she was was alive for part of the time while being sexually assaulted, it is said.
Footage shown to jurors today shows a “shadowy figure” slow down as they skulk across Rothesay shoreline while “carrying something in front of them”.
CCTV coordinator DC Lisa Whitelaw told Glasgow’s High Court something appears to be “hanging down” at the front of the figure as it moves.
The footage, which is not being released to the public, was captured on the night the six-year-old was allegedly taken from her bed before being raped and murdered.
Jurors heard today how the teenage defendant replied “no comment” to every question when interviewed by cops after his arrest.
Officers who searched his home discovered a Jamie Oliver knife appeared to be missing from a block in the kitchen.
Detective Constable Graham McIlwraith told the court two knives were in the block, while two were on the drainer, but the fifth was nowhere to be seen.
When shown a photo of a knife found on the shore opposite where Alesha had been staying, he said it “would appear to be the same design” as the ones found in the accused’s house.
Witness Karen MacBride, a fingerprint examiner with the Scottish Police Authority, told the court fingerprints belonging to the accused had been found on the MacPhail home.
But the prints from the defendant’s right palm, which were found on stairs leading to the property, couldn’t be dated.
Court documents allege the suspect, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was armed with a knife when he snatched Alesha from her bed on July 2.
He is accused of carrying her to a former hotel site nearby before removing her clothes and shaking her “violently”.
It is claimed the suspect applied pressure after covering the youngster’s nose, mouth and neck with his hands.
He is also accused of trying to cover up the crime on the shore at Rothesay and another address in the town by dumping clothes and a blade.
The trial continues.