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Phone Hacking Trial: Summing up, Mulcaire may have hacked three celebrities during Brooks’ NoTW editorship – Martin Hickman

Old-Bailey1080Day 115, Part 2:  Glenn Mulcaire may have hacked the phones of three female celebrities during Rebekah Brooks’ editorship of the News of the World, the Old Bailey heard.

Summing up at the phone hacking trial, judge Mr Justice Saunders read out the names of 12 individuals apparently targeted by the NoW’s private detective between May 2000 to January 2003, when Mrs Brooks was editing the paper.

Among them were TV presenters Amanda Holden and Ulrika Jonsson and the singer Charlotte Church.

Another high-profile target was John Leslie, the former Blue Peter presenter.

Mr Justice Saunders went through the dozen names as he analysed the nature of Mulcaire’s work for the NoW during Mrs Brooks’ editorship.

Of the 5,600 taskings in Mulcaire’s notes, he said, only 600 definitely dated from May 2000 to January 2003. Of those, roughly 50 were duplicates, where the private detective had transferred details from one note to another.

Police analysis of the remaining 550 suggested that it was not clear what Mulcaire had been doing in 218. In another 176, he appeared to have been “blagging” – which the judge pointed out the prosecution suggested could have been intended to obtain information for hacking.

However in 12 there was evidence, such as PIN codes, that Mulcaire was hacking, or preparing to hack.

He read out the names of Ms Jonsson, Ms Holden – against whom the words “voicemail” and “*9” were written – and Ms Church, about whom he wrote the words “America” and “Gatwick” – which also appeared in a NoW story about the singer. Steve Johnson, a former boyfriend of Ms Church, was also in the dozen, featured with his mobile number and a default PIN for his T-Mobile account.

Some had royal connections: TV presenter Natalie Pinkham – a friend of Prince Harry; Nicholas Knatchbull, linked to the Royal Family; and an un-named agent to Princess Diana’s butler, Paul Burrell.

Other suspected early targets of the News of the World hacking operation were the firefighters’ leader Andy Gilchrist; Peter Foster, the alleged con-man who befriended Tony Blair’s wife Cherie; and a woman called Mandy Mola.

Also present was Milly Dowler, the Surrey schoolgirl who went missing on her way home from school in March 2002.

Mr Justice Saunders said the hacking of the 13-year-old was “central” to the case against Mrs Brooks, her then deputy Andy Coulson, and the NoW’s managing editor, Stuart Kuttner.

The judge reminded the jury that Mrs Brooks was away on holiday in Dubai at the time of the hacking.

He added that Mr Coulson told the court he had not believed the paper’s theory that Milly was working in a factory in Telford.

It derived from a voicemail mistakenly left on Milly’s phone by a recruitment agency – and hacked by Mulcaire.

Mr Justice Saunders said:

“Somebody at the News of the World considered it worthwhile to send five or six people to the scene, that included photographers, not all from London. That was quite a number, even for the News of the World, said Robert Kellaway [a NoW reporter whose byline erroneously appeared on the NoW story about Milly and who gave evidence].

The judge will continues discussing the Milly Dowler story tomorrow.

All defendants deny the charges.

 

2 Comments

  1. Mike Sivier

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  2. davidhencke

    Reblogged this on David Hencke and commented:
    Judge’s summing up ; Mulcaire suspected 12 victims named

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