A man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend “reluctantly” handed his phone over to police and moments later asked for it back, a court has heard.
Taxi driver Ben Lacomba, 39, is accused of murdering mother-of-five Sarah Wellgreen, 46, who has not been seen since last year.
She was last seen at the home she shared with Lacomba in New Ash Green, Kent, on October 9 2018.
They had been in a relationship but had split up prior to her disappearance.
Despite extensive police searches, Ms Wellgreen’s body has never been found.
Lacomba denies her murder.
Detective Constable Celia King told Woolwich Crown Court on Tuesday that Lacomba was “obstructive and reluctant” about allowing police into the property and handed over his phone “reluctantly, but he did agree”.
Ms King, who is also a family liaison officer, added: “He said it had some embarrassing stuff on it. I said I wasn’t interested in his embarrassing photos or whatever he had on it.”
Ms King said Lacomba began to go through his phone. She said: “He was sat opposite me so I could just see the back of his hand, but I would say he was frantically going through his phone.”
She told the court the suspect allowed officers to access his call log, contact list, texts and WhatsApp messages on his Samsung Galaxy S8 mobile phone.
However, he would not let them access his location services and said he had turned them off.
Ms King recalled his reaction when they asked for his deleted data, which he refused. She said: “He completely changed. He got quite animated. He said ‘Why would I want you to have deleted stuff when I deleted it for a reason?'”
As she left the property, Lacomba followed her and asked for his phone back. He said he needed it for work, despite earlier telling the officer he had a second device which he could use for work.
Ms King said he wanted his phone back, telling her: “You said it was voluntary and I don’t have to give it to you so I want it back.”
Ms King continued: “I had to give it back to him.”
The suspect agreed to take his phone to the police station “first thing in the morning before work”, but failed to.
Lacomba says he was asleep in bed on the night of the alleged killing and in a statement said Ms Wellgreen “was happy and there was nothing out of the ordinary” on the day she went missing.
The trial continues.