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Phone Hacking Trial: Charlie Brooks: I was advised not to respond to police questions – Martin Hickman

Charlie BrooksDay 81, Part 1: Charlie Brooks today rejected claims that he stayed silent during a police interview so that he could “invent” a story later to explain away why he hid evidence from detectives. 

When he was arrested and interviewed by the Metropolitan Police in March 2012 following a dawn raid on his Oxfordshire home, Mr Brooks gave a no comment interview.

Today at the phone hacking trial, Mr Brooks told the Old Bailey that he was following advice from his lawyer not to respond to the police’s questions.

He explained that he had found the early morning search of Jubilee Barn, Oxfordshire, “pretty traumatic” and had then spent several hours “stewing” in police cells.

Prosecuting counsel Andrew Edis QC said: “The interview was perfectly fair, wasn’t it?  It gave you every opportunity to say what you had done in July 2011,” to which Mr Brooks replied: “It did.”

Asked whether at the time he would have felt bad for hiding the bags, Mr Brooks said: “I feel ashamed over what I’ve done to [his co-defendant NI head of security Mark Hanna] Mr Hanna, who is an innocent man.

“And I’m mortified by the way I’ve embarrassed my wife, which has given the police ammunition to smear her. I’m furious with myself for being so stupid.”

But he said the advice from an experienced criminal lawyer was to stay silent.

When Mr Edis suggested that he did not have to have accept the advice, Mr Brooks responded by saying his lawyer “knew a lot more than I did”.

Mr Edis asked the defendant: “It gave you the opportunity to make things up to fit the evidence – is that what was on your mind?”, to which Mr Brooks shot back: “That was not my state of mind.

Mr Edis asked: “Did you appreciate that if you kept your mouth shut you would be able to invent things later?”, to which Mr Brooks replied: “I certainly never had any thought like that.”

Mr Edis said: “An honest man putting himself in the position you were in in March 2012 would have eagerly taken the opportunity to put his account.

Mr Brooks replied: “I can assure you that you are wrong and I would assure you that an innocent man is entitled to take legal advice.

Concluding his cross-examination, Mr Edis told the court the reason Mr Brooks had taken a risk by hiding the bags was to “achieve something important.”

Mr Brooks, who previously told the trial that he was worried about losing a book contract and the police leaking the existence of his pornography collection, said: “I have laid out very clearly, I hope, my motives and what I did.”

Mr Edis said: “You motive was to protect your wife, to who you’re extremely loyal” – to which Mr Brooks replied: “That’s simply not true.”

Mr Brooks, who started giving evidence on Friday, Mrs Brooks, who resigned from News International in July 2011, and Mr Hanna deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice. The case continues.

2 Comments

  1. Mike Sivier

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  2. davidhencke

    Reblogged this on David Hencke and commented:
    Charlie Brooks gets a grilling for being silent during his first police interview.

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