Phone Hacking Trial: Charlie Brooks hid porn DVDs to avoid “Jacqui Smith moment”, court hears – Martin Hickman

31 03 2014

Charlie BrooksDay 80, Part 1: Charlie Brooks told the phone hacking trial today that he hid his bags from police because he was worried that the discovery of his pornography collection could lead to a “Jacqui Smith moment.”

Mr Brooks stashed two briefcases containing laptop computers and DVDs behind a bin in the underground car park of a London apartment block on Sunday 18 July 2011 while his wife Rebekah was being arrested at Lewisham Police Station.

Giving evidence at the Old Bailey, Mr Brooks said he was worried that if detectives found his pornographic DVDs they would leak the story to the Guardian as they had with previous details from Operation Weeting, causing his wife embarrassment.

He referred to the former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who was embarrassed when the press discovered that her husband had watched a pornographic film.

Explaining why he had stashed the bags on his return to Chelsea Harbour from the couple’s family home in Oxfordshire, Mr Brooks told the court:

When I got back to the flat I envisaged 20 policemen coming in and emptying every drawer and looking under every nook and cranny and I did think of my DVDs and I had my Jacqui Smith moment… I didn’t want to embarrass my wife in the same way, and my instinctive reaction was that the police could leak this to the press.”

He continued:

“Ever since Operation Weeting had been in the buildings in News International a lot of stuff had been leaked to the Guardian. There were a lot of leaks and I was very aware of it.”

Mr Brooks said he was also worried the police would break his Sony Vaio laptop or corrupt its files, losing notes on his novels that had not been backed up.

He told the court that he was worried that if couldn’t meet the deadline for his new art heist thriller, Switch, that his publishers HarperCollins would cancel his book contract.

Mr Brooks, whose bags were found by a cleaner and handed to the police, said:

So incredibly stupidly and rashly I thought I will just put this to one side. They [the police] won’t take it and I won’t lose my material.”

Mr Brooks’ barrister Neil Saunders finished examining his client before lunch. Mr Brooks will be cross-examined by chief prosecutor Andrew Edis this afternoon.

He and his wife and News International’s head of security, Mark Hanna, deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice.


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2 responses

31 03 2014
Mike Sivier

Reblogged this on Vox Political.

31 03 2014
davidhencke

Reblogged this on David Hencke and commented:
So now we know why the prosecution released details of Charlie Brooks’ collection of lesbian porn DVDs- they are part of his defence case!

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