Day 82, Part 2: News International’s head of security did not know Rebekah Brooks had been arrested on the day until hours after he allegedly hid evidence from detectives, he told the phone hacking trial today.
Mark Hanna removed Mr Brooks’s Jiffy bag, laptop and a brown leather briefcase from the underground car park of the home he shared with his wife at Chelsea Harbour at 2pm – two hours after she had been arrested.
The court was reminded that a member of Mr Hanna’s security team had followed Mrs Brooks’s car to Lewisham police station and then exchanged messages with Mr Hanna.
Cross-examining Mr Hanna, Andrew Edis, QC, for the Crown, told him: “By the time you left Chelsea Harbour at 2.12pm… you knew that she had been arrested.”
Mr Hanna replied: “No, I found out after I had left Chelsea Harbour. I was aware, however, that she was at the police station.”
Phone records show that Mr Hanna had communicated with the guard shortly after Mrs Brooks arrived at Lewisham.
Mr Edis asked Mr Hanna: “Mrs Brooks was arrested in the presence of [the security guard]. Did you discover that from him?”, to which he said: “No, I was not aware of that.”
Asked if he was suggesting that he had only discovered that Mrs Brooks had been arrested when he got back to his home in Buckingham that night, Mr Hanna replied: “I’m not saying that. I’m saying I can’t really remember where I was.”
Mr Hanna said that Mr Brooks had not told him of his wife’s arrest when they spoke that afternoon.
Mr Edis asked: “Surely he told you that she had been arrested?”, to which the defendant replied: “I don’t believe he did, no. I can’t remember who told me and what time.”
Mr Hanna, who was suspended from News International when he was charged in March 2012, and Mr and Mrs Brooks deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice. The trial continues tomorrow.