August 23, 2023

Case work: How two CCL teams worked together to drive three crucial verdicts

How two sets of digital forensic expertise came together to rapidly ‘join the evidence dots’ and help secure three convictions for Greater Manchester Police.

CCL Team: Cell Site
CCL Expert: Dr Iain Brodie
Client: Greater Manchester Police
Case: Murder


Operation Raboul involved a cell site analysis in relation to the murder of a teenager which occurred in a park in Greater Manchester in January 2022.

CCL’s Principal Expert Dr Iain Brodie was able to show that the three suspects’ phones had travelled to the general area of the park at the relevant time and had been in the same area as each other in the lead up to the attack.

Additionally, Dr Brodie liaised with CCL’s phone handset specialists who were asked to review geo-location data extracted from one of the suspect’s handsets to see if this could assist the case.

This joint analysis by our phone lab and cell site lab enabled us to show the investigation team that the times on the handset’s geo-location records were trustworthy, accurately reflecting the movements of the phone picked up from the cell site analysis. Dr Brodie was therefore able to reliably pinpoint the phone’s location to the park at the time of the murder and to an earlier meeting in another part of Manchester.


At court in November 2022 one of the teenage suspects was found guilty of murder and the other two found guilty of manslaughter. They now face a life and indeterminate sentences.

Such a comprehensive analysis tracking the movements of the suspects was only possible because CCL had the requisite expertise in both phone download and cell site analysis and was able to rapidly and neatly ‘join the evidence dots’.

Case comment:

“With no eyewitnesses to the fatal stabbing the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) worked with Greater Manchester Police to build a strong case including forensic evidence, detailed mobile phone analysis, CCTV and mobile phone location data to piece together the movements of all the young men. After considering all the evidence, the jury found one teenager guilty of murder and two other teenagers guilty of manslaughter.”

Lucy Scully, Senior Crown Prosecutor, CPS North West’s Complex Casework Unit

Press report:

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