THE Jodi Jones murder trial was told yesterday that the record of Luke Mitchell's phone had been wiped out hours after the schoolgirl died.

A "Love U" text message from Kimberley Thomson, a former girlfriend of Mr Mitchell's, three days before the murder, had also been deleted, along with Judith Jones's attempt to contact her daughter to tell her she was "grounded" for staying out late.

Donald Findlay QC, defending Mr Mitchell, returned to evidence heard earlier this week when the so-called Black Dahlia murder of Elizabeth Short, the Hollywood actress, was raised.

Mr Findlay at the High Court in Edinburgh, asked Anthony Busuttil, pathologist :

"If, bizarre as it may seem, what happened to Jodi Jones was an attempt to replicate the injuries on Elizabeth Short, as portrayed by Marilyn Manson, that bears no scrutiny at all?"

Professor Busuttil replied:

'Some similarities, perhaps, superficial similarities."

Mr Findlay produced a report from another leading pathologist which concluded that there was no forensically significant similarity.

The report ended: "In summary I see no forensically significant similarity between the injuries present on the two victims, allowing for the fact that they are both, apparently, sexually motivated homicides of young women."

Mr Mitchell, 16, denies murdering Jodi near a woodland path between their homes in Dalkeith, Midlothian, on June 30, 2003.

Derek Morris, 56, from Lothian and Borders Police technical support unit, said he had carried out tests on Mr Mitchell's mobile phone the day after Jodi's death.

Mr Morris said the phone's record of last numbers dialled showed only one call instead of the usual 10. It was to Mr Mitchell's mother at 39 minutes past midnight. "That was the only one listed. He must have deleted the call register and started again, " said Mr Morris.

Records from the mobile phone company listed a call from Mr Mitchell's mobile to his mother at 31 minutes past midnight. Mr Morris said he thought the records had been deleted between the two calls.

Mr Morris also described how he had carried out more sophisticated tests on the phone's SIM card to try to recover deleted messages.

Both the inbox and outbox were empty, but the SIM card revealed a message received on the evening of Friday, June 27, 2003, saying: "Luke its Kim im at ma grans can u phone mi on (number) Love u xKimx" Another message on the SIM card at 10.41pm from Jodi's mother read: "2 wks grounding toad . . . Say bye 2 luke".

In questioning, Mr Findlay and Mr Morris agreed that text messages on Jodi's mother's mobile had also been deleted and there was nothing unusual about people doing that.

Alan Turnbull QC, for the prosecution, told the jury that before the Crown case closes, probably some time next week, he would be asking experts about a computer found in the bedroom of Shane Mitchell, Mr Mitchell's brother.

The court has heard that someone made a 22-minute internet connection from the Mitchell home in Newbattle, Dalkeith, just before 5pm on June 30, 2003.