Day 19: A News of the World reporter warned the paper’s management that he and its editors could go to jail if police traced cash payments to sensitive sources, the hacking trial heard today. Clive Goodman, the paper’s royal editor, made the warning about two of the cash contacts who were “in uniform.”
He also suggested that one of his contacts was an executive at a rival newspaper who was risking his job to pass information to the NoW.
Mr Goodman made the comments in an email to Bev Stokes, personal assistant to the paper’s Managing Editor, Stuart Kuttner, while chasing up payments to his contacts.
Dated 1 July 2005, Mr Goodman told Ms Stokes that he had just had a meeting with Mr Kuttner to explain that there were reasons why the payments needed to be made in cash.
“Morning Stuart… Understand that.. As you know there are only three people I ever pay in cash.
“Two are in uniform and we – them, you, me, the editor – would all end up in jail if anyone traced their payments. They’ve had Special Branch crawling all over them since we ran a 5 par story about Operation Trident arrest at Clarence House. Thanks to the way we pay them, they’re untraceable.
“The third is an executive at the paper – who’s also taking on potentially life-altering risks for us and will not accept any other form of payment everyone else gets through accounts.”
Mr Goodman also sent an email to Mr Kuttner and others in the Managing Editor’s office asking for a cash payment of £500 to “Mr Alexander”, the alias he used for the paper’s phone hacker Glenn Mulcaire, who was also on a £100,000 contract with the paper.
Prosecuting, Mark Bryant-Heron, asked Ms Stokes what the payment code – 3E01 – signified. She replied: “Editorial Management.”
Asked who made the final decision about coding, Ms Stokes said: “The Managing Editor.”
Mr Kuttner, Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and Ian Edmondson deny conspiring to hack phones. Mr Goodman and Mr Coulson deny conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.
The case continues.