Day 45: Between 8 and 10 computers and mobile phones registered to former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks are missing, police told the phone hacking trial today. Operation Weeting detectives spent months piecing together a picture of Mrs Brooks’s computer equipment using data from the wifi router at her Oxfordshire home, an asset list from News International and records from mobile phone networks.
The result, according to Detective Constable Philip Stead, is that at least eight of Mrs Brooks’s devices have not been recovered from searches of her homes in London and Oxfordshire or from News International: three BlackBerry mobile phones, two Apple iPhones, two iPads and an HTC Desire mobile phone.
Another iPad and an iPhone are unaccounted for; but the Old Bailey heard that a friend of the Brooks’s, Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone, said that the iPad was his, and the third missing iPhone may be one of the two other errant iPhones.
Prosecuting Counsel Andrew Edis, QC took two hours to run through each of Mrs Brooks’s missing devices.
The missing earliest one was a BlackBerry registered to her on 4 October 2007 while she was editor of the Sun.
NI terminated her mobile phone accounts on 27 September 2011, later telling the police about the phones: “No record of return, assume still with user.”
Det Const Stead explained he had compiled the list of 10 machines from NI’s asset list, billing and call data from NI’s mobile phone provider Vodafone, MAC addresses from Apple, and call data from the major mobile phone networks.
Mr Edis read out an email from Mrs Brooks to her husband Charlie, and copied to her personal assistant Cheryl Carter on 1 April 2011. In it, she wrote: “Lost iPad2.” Mr Brooks replied: “Back of car last night? Restaurant?”
No evidence from her about the other devices was adduced.
Jonathan Laidlaw, Mrs Brooks’s counsel, will cross-examine Det Const Stead this afternoon.
Mrs Brooks, Mr Brooks and Ms Carter deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Mrs Brooks also denies charges of plotting to hack phones and plotting to pay public officials for information.