A murder accused’s mobile phone covered almost 4km in just 47 minutes shortly after midnight on the day Steven Donaldson’s battered and burned body was found at an Angus nature reserve, High Court jurors have heard.
The distance data was gleaned from a health app on Steven Dickie’s mobile phone which an expert told the Edinburgh trial also showed an elevation gain around 11pm consistent with that for the route between the accused’s Kirriemuir home and the town’s Peter Pan playpark.
Dickie, Callum Davidson and Tasmin Glass all deny murdering 27-year-old Mr Donaldson on June 6 or 7 last year, with the trial now into its fourth week.
On the 14th day of evidence, analyst co-ordinator Diane Campbell also agreed that a possible explanation for phone and service provider data on Dickie’s phone not matching up could be that call and text records had been manually deleted on the device.
Miss Campbell told the court that health app data had been examined from three mobile phones, those of accused Dickie and Glass and another belonging to Claire Ogston, the girlfriend of third accused Davidson.
Dickie’s phone showed data peaks in the period from around 11pm to 11.10pm, when 416 metres was covered in nine minutes.
Between 15 minutes past midnight and a quarter to one on June 7, the accused’s phone then recorded a distance of 3.9km in 47 minutes.
The witness told the court that between 1.19am and 1.39am, the phone belonging to Ogston showed a distance recording of 962 metres.
The jury has already been shown CCTV from Kirriemuir which captured Davidson cycling through the centre of the town in the early hours.
Miss Campbell also told the trial she had overlaid data for significant locations within the inquiry, including the Peter Pan park, Kinnordy Loch nature reserve – where the deceased was discovered – and the homes of the three accused, with the health app data and CCTV timings from clips obtained as part of the murder inquiry.
She said that at 12.49am, the mobile app data coincided with a CCTV recording of two figures walking in the area of Tannage Brae near Kirriemuir health centre, footage of which the jury saw earlier in the proceedings.
Advocate depute Ashley Edwards QC also asked the witness about log data on Dickie’s phone.
Miss Campbell confirmed service provider records did not match what was on the handset.
“There was no log of calls or messages sent or received. You can go in and delete messages, you can do whatever you like,” said the witness.
The trial continues.