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WALES: HOW THIS MAST SENT SEARCHERS WRONG WAY.

AN 'unreliable' mobile phone mast sent the search for police chief constable Michael Todd miles off track after he went missing in North Wales, yesterday's inquest heard.

Officers initially pinpointed the signals from his mobile phone to within 700 metres of a phone mast at Felinheli, sparking a search of the Menai Strait.

But Mr Todd was lying some eight miles away near the summit of Snowdon.

The search was not extended into the hills of Snowdonia until Mr Todd's rucksack was found near the summit of Snowdon.

GMP officers with sophisticated equipment went to North Wales to help track the phone but found nothing.

Coroner Mr Pritchard Jones said that the mast at Felinheli picks up signals from a huge area and had been unreliable in other mountain rescue searches.

He said too much reliance was put on the electronic evidence: "It is clear in rural areas the system of tracking mobile phone signals is unreliable."

Chief Supt Simon Humphreys of North Wales Police said that while efforts were concentrated on the Felinheli area other police officers searched car parks in Snowdonia and Anglesey, and eventually found the backpack.

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The 'unreliable' mobile phone mast at Felinheli
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 7, 2008
Words:199
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