Day 27: Police did not tell a senior member of the Royal Household that a large number of Buckingham Palace phone directories had been found at the home of the News of the World’s royal editor for six years, the hacking trial heard yesterday.
Jonathan Spencer, deputy controller of The Lord Chamberlain’s Office, in charge of the directories, told the Old Bailey he had only learned of their seizure from a new investigation into the Sunday newspaper in November 2012.
Mark Bryant-Heron, prosecuting, reminded that 15 royal phone directories dating between 1988 and 2002 had been found at Mr Goodman’s home near Putney, south west London, when he was arrested by detectives on 8 August 2006.
At the time, Scotland Yard carried out what has been described in the court as a “limited” investigation into phone hacking, and no charges were brought concerning the discovery of the confidential directories.
However, as a result of the new police inquiry, begun in 2011, Mr Goodman and his editor at the News of the World, Andy Coulson, are now on trial for two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office in 2002/3 and 2005, accused of plotting to bribe police officers to obtain the directories.
Giving evidence, Mr Spencer said that one of the two types of directory found at Mr Goodman’s home – the ‘Green Book’ directory of the phone numbers of members of the Royal family and senior members of the Royal Household – was a “restricted document” that was carefully guarded because of the implications for the Royal Family’s security. Copies were placed under “lock and key” at night, he told the court.
Around 13 copies of the Green Book were given to police officers guarding the Royal family, he added.
The court heard that the other type of directory found at Mr Goodman’s home was the more widely distributed Internal Telephone Directory, or ITD, which listed extension numbers at the royal residences such as Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and Sandringham.
Mr Goodman, Mr Coulson and all six other defendants in the trial have pleaded not guilty. The case continues.