Day 99, Part 2: Andy Coulson’s former PA printed out emails stored in his drafts folder days before one of his reporters, Clive Goodman, pleaded guilty to phone hacking, a court heard yesterday.
Belinda Sharrier – who described her former boss as “amazing” and “brilliant” – told the Old Bailey she could not remember what the documents were.
Lead prosecutor Andrew Edis QC told the phone hacking trial that in an email on Saturday 25 November 2006, Mr Coulson, emailed Mrs Sharrier: “Next week I want you to start printing off my draft emails.”
Four days later Mr Goodman, the News of the World’s royal editor, appeared at the Old Bailey, where he admitted hacking members of the Royal Household.
Mr Edis asked: “What kind of documents were they?”
Mrs Sharrier told the Old Bailey: “I don’t remember.”
Didn’t it seem “odd,” Mr Edis asked her, that the editor of the News of the World was asking her to print out the emails “while this great scandal is working itself out?”
“I didn’t think it was odd. Andy asked me to do lots of things,” she replied.
Had she seen the documents again?
“Yes,” she said. The prosecutor asked: “Where?”
Mrs Sharrier replied: “Mr Coulson’s lawyers.”
Mr Edis showed her two emails, which were not read out to the court, and asked whether she had been shown them at the solicitors.
Mrs Sharrier, who went on to be the PA to Mr Coulson’s successor as editor of the News of the World, Colin Myler, replied: “I think so.”
Asked about Mr Coulson’s system for recording information, Mrs Sharrier said that he only occasionally made notes.
Instead, she said, he scribbled things down on a jotting pad on his desk, and every few days she would tear off the used pages and discard them.
Detectives have not recovered a single note of Mr Coulson’s from his seven years at the News of the World.
After Mrs Sharrier initially told Mr Edis that she had not signed off cash payments for sources, the prosecutor presented her with evidence that she had done so. She told the court: “I had forgotten about that.”
She said she had taken Mr Coulson’s belongings from his office to her home when he resigned in January 2007 following Mr Goodman’s jailing, because Mr Coulson had asked her to pack up “his personal effects.”
She could not remember the “exact conversation” she had had with him about it, adding that the events of January 2007 were “quite dramatic.” She said: “It was very fast.”
Mr Edis said: “Mrs Sharrie, it’s obviously the case that you are very fond of Mr Coulson, who you admire. Is the evidence you have given on his behalf actually true?”
Mrs Sharrie replied: “Yes, it is.”
Mr Coulson denies conspiring to hack phones. The case continues.
Reblogged this on Vox Political.
Reblogged this on David Hencke and commented:
Another person who can’t remember and has to be reminded by lawyers that she paid out money to Clive Goodman. Amazing lack of recall among Murdoch’s people.