A COMPUTER forensics expert was called today in the Star Hobson alleged murder trial to address claims about Snapchat made by Savannah Brockhill during her evidence.

Patrick Dibb, a digital forensic operations manager at West Yorkshire Police, was called by the prosecution to explain how data from the Snapchat application and FaceTime are extracted from phones.

He was called to shed light on an issue raised by prosecutor Alistair MacDonald during his questioning of Savannah Brockhill on November 19.

It related to September 13, 2020, the night Brockhill was alone with 16-month old Star at the recycling plant in Doncaster, and the prosecution alleges Brockhill repeatedly struck Star in her car.

Brockhill claimed she had been on a Snapchat video call to a friend during the incident, “showing Star’s bad behaviour”, with a series of messages exchanged through the day.

Mr MacDonald said there were “no records of a Snapchat video call”.

Brockhill answered: “How Snapchat works, unless you actually save a message or video call when you go off it, it erases itself.

“Everyone knows that. These are only a few of the messages.”

Are you aware how Snapchat works? Unless you actually save a message or video call, when you go off it, it erases itself. Everyone knows that. These are only a few of the messages.

Savannah Brockhill on November 19

Mr MacDonald said there was “no record of Snapchat videos that night whatsoever”, and “we will see in due course if your understanding of Snapchat is accurate”.

Mr Dibb, under questioning, explained that to use any feature of Snapchat the app has to be open.

He also confirmed specialist software is used by police to access parts of the phone database normal users cannot, which holds information about when the app is opened and closed.

He said Snapchat was only open on Brockhill’s phone five times between 6pm and 9pm on September 13, and that a handful of text messages were the only messages shared between Brockhill and her friend that night.

He added Snapchat was not open on Brockhill’s phone during the times the CCTV footage shown throughout the trial was taken.

Gillian Batts, junior counsel for Brockhill, asked if it was possible a call made to Brockhill's phone had not recorded on the phone's database. Mr Dibb replied, "Possibly."

She also asked if in examining the phone with a control device if the same version of Snapchat was used, and Mr Dibb said he didn't know.

In records on the database however, he said what version the app was is "irrelevant".

Savannah Brockhill, 28, of Hawthorn Close, Keighley, and Frankie Smith, 20, of Wesley Place, Keighley both deny murdering Smith’s daughter Star on September 22, 2020, and also deny causing or allowing her death.

The trial continues tomorrow at Bradford Crown Court.