Dan Evans said he that began phone hacking as soon as he become a staff reporter at the Sunday Mirror in 2003 and did so for almost two years until he joined the News of the World, where he continued using the illegal technique to find stories.
On his first day at the NoTW, he told the phone hacking trial, he was given a list of scores of names of celebrities and other newsworthy individuals and their phone numbers – and told to hack them.
Making a series of claims about a culture of tabloid newspapers, Evans said that:
– Senior journalists on the Sunday Mirror told him his job was to hack phones.
– The Sunday Mirror was landing so many exclusives from hacked voicemails it went through a “purple patch” in 2004.
– Senior journalists on the NoW were aware of hacking and one asked him at a recruitment meeting: “I know you can screw phones, what else can you do?”
– Evans told Andy Coulson he could find exclusive stories cheaply and “there wasn’t a lot of doubt what we were talking about.”
– Although Evans believed he was going to help set up an investigations unit at the NoW, a senior journalist sent him a list of celebrities and their phone numbers so that he could “hack any interesting names”
– News of the World reporters could get “inquiry agents” to obtain phone numbers and phone bills, and received them “within three or four hours”
– Confidential medical and tax data about individuals could also be acquired through blagging by others: “Pretty much every piece of private data.”
– Evans initially used “pay as you go phones” to hack into voicemails but abandoned the technique partly because of cost-cutting – when he got caught trying to access the voicemail of interior designer Kelly Hoppen.
Asked how often he would hack phones while at the News of the World, Evans said: “Probably most days. Might have been the odd lull here and there.”
Mr Coulson denies conspiring to hack phones. Mr Evans will continue giving evidence tomorrow.