A phone believed to belong to the boy accused of murdering Alesha MacPhail contained the web search: “How do police find DNA”.

The term, made on an iPhone "said to have been seized" from the accused, was searched on Google less than 24 hours after the six year-old's body was found last July.

Jurors heard the 16 year-old was arrested the next day amid a murder probe – but made “no comment” to detectives.

The evidence was today heard at the High Court in Glasgow.

The teenager is on trial accused of abducting, raping and murdering Alesha last July 2 on the Isle of Bute.

Read more: Alesha MacPhail murder trial: Accused replies to charges against him

Prosecutor Iain McSporran QC questioned police cyber crime investigator Peter Benson, who examined the iPhone 6.

He asked Mr Benson if he was able to find out the nature of internet searches and when they were made on the mobile.

The witness – a former police officer - agreed he could.

A search then said to have been made was: “How do police find DNA.”

This occurred on July 3 around 12.30am.

Alesha's body had been found in the grounds of a former hotel on Bute at 8.54am the previous morning.

The check brought up the site: “science.howstuffworks.com”.

This then brought up information on “genetic DNA evidence”.


Mr McSporran asked the witness: “That would be offered as one of the many options on Google?”

Mr Benson: “Yes.”

The phone also included a number of contacts including “Toni Louise McLachlan” and “Rab MacPhail”.

The boy has lodged a special defence blaming Ms McLachlan for the murder.

Jurors earlier heard claims Ms McLachlan contacted the teenager in the early hours of July 2 via Instagram.

It was alleged they later had sex before the 18 year-old “planted” evidence to frame the boy.

Mr McSporran asked Mr Benson did they appear to be contact via Instagram between the pair.

He replied: “There was no indication of that at all ... that did not feature in the communications that I recovered from Toni McLachlan's phone.”

However, Mr Benson did accept that it may be possible to delete messages on Instagram.

He added it appeared the boy was not a “heavy user” of the social media platform.

The trial earlier heard today/yesterday how the 16 year-old was held by police on around 5pm last July 4 at his home.

He was then taken to Helen Street police station in Glasgow to be quizzed.

DC Ian Wilson was one of the officers at the interview.

Prosecutor Mr McSporran asked: “Did he make a response of no comment to questions and assertions?”

The detective: “Yes.”

Mr McSporran: “Literally saying the words: 'no comment'?”

DC Wilson agreed.

The trial, before Lord Matthews, continues.