Briton's phone may have been plugged in when he went missing

Briton's phone may have been plugged in when he went missing
Painful inquest: Southwell (middle) talking to her lawyer Muhammad Hisham after the hearing as British High Commission’s vice-consul Karen Song looks on.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

KUANTAN - Data retrieved from Briton Gareth David Huntley's mobile phone showed that it was likely to have been plugged in during the time he went missing, his mother told a coroner's court here.

Janet Southwell, 58, said the phone was broken, but upon retrieving the data, she found records of messages, a phone call and photographs taken on the day Huntley had gone missing in Pulau Tioman.

"There was a photograph he took of a map at the beginning of the trail.

"The last two pictures taken were of a tree at about 12.17pm.

"Following that, there was a message from a man he met on the island, asking where he was since they were supposed to go diving together at 2pm to remove a net which had been harming turtles," she said at the inquest into Huntley's death here yesterday.

Southwell said it appeared that a phone call was also made to a person named "Vicky", but it went unanswered.

She said the British police had contacted "Vicky", but the woman said she did not know Huntley.

"There was also a powering event recorded at 2.30pm, meaning the phone could have been plugged in.

"We are having somebody check on this for us," she said in answering a question from her lawyer Muhammad Hisham Abdul Rahim.

Huntley went missing in Pulau Tioman on May 27 last year while he was trekking to the Lubuk Teja waterfall.

Eight days later, his decomposed body was found near the Juara Lagoon chalet.

Southwell described her son as an intelligent and talkative person who liked to help people wherever he went.

She said Huntley had decided to volunteer at a turtle sanctuary in Tioman since he had a week to spare before starting his new job in Singapore.

Southwell was holding back tears throughout her testimony.

Coroner Mohd Zulbahrin Zainuddin allowed her to take a break when she was on the verge of breaking down.

General Operations Force officer L/Kpl Mohd Nazrul Izzat Mohd Zaki also testified how he found Huntley's body.

He said on June 4 last year, he had broken off from the main search group with a Fire and Rescue Department personnel and a ranger to check out an old hiking trail.

He said the body was near the Juara Lagoon chalet where the search and rescue personnel were staying, adding that several of his friends had told him that they smelled the stench on June 3 too.

The hearing continues on Sept 1.

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