Cell Site Analysis
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The 4th May 2010 saw the conviction for murder of two men branded as "fantasists". David Large and Simon Mullen, who carried out the “calculated, cold blooded and brutal” murder of 45-year-old Christopher Hartley, were each jailed for a minimum of 30 years at Bradford Crown Court.
On Tuesday 8th September 2009, In an effort to portray a drugs deal that had gone wrong, Mr Hartley was lured to a remote lay-by near Huddersfield. He was later found blasted in the head and chest with a shot gun at close range.
Det. Supt. Chris Thompson of West Yorkshire Police's HMET said, “David Large was a man steeped in crime who lived an opulent lifestyle, owning fast cars and large houses both at home and abroad, all of which were funded through fraud and drugs. When he wanted to split from his partner and lover of 15-years (Hartley), Large carefully planned with Simon Mullen to lure Christopher Hartley to a secluded spot in Huddersfield where he was shot through the head at point blank range in what was a pre-meditated, cold blooded and merciless killing.
Following the killing, Large and Mullen concocted a complex alibi deliberately attempting to mislead the police that this was a drugs deal gone wrong. However, under investigation, this alibi unravelled to reveal the extent of their lies and deception.”
Acting quickly within the investigation, DC Alex Grummitt made contact with their local FTS Specialist Telecoms Advisor who provided free advice relevant to identifying best serving Cell Sites to the actual scene of the crime, the home address and other known addresses used by David Large.
This initial action and brief, which was to form part of three subsequent phases, was allocated to FTS Cell Site engineer John Tarpey. As the local Cell Site expert and expert witness, Mr Tarpey conducted detailed site surveys and analysis of best serving Cells at the various relevant locations of interest.
y now Mullen, of Farding Square, South Shields, had been arrested and charged in connection with this offence. Subsequent liaison with the investigation team, utilising a mobile on the O2 network, revealed that the gunman travelled from South Shields to the area of the murder scene on the night of the crime. Cell Site analysis using expert site survey evidence was able to provide positive corroboration of this fact, and could also place both Mullen and Large simultaneously at the scene of the crime on the day before the murder (using mobiles on the Orange and O2 networks), again assisting in the corroboration of planning and premeditation.
There is no doubt that telecommunications evidence, as identified by West Yorkshire Police and corroborated by Cell Site analysis, played a significant part in this investigation, contributing to the successful conviction of both Mullen and Large.