Friday, March 10, 2017

Kate Middleton's phone voicemail was hacked 155 times by NotW royal editor tells court

Former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman hacked the phones of Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton, jurors heard today.

Goodman, who returned to the witness box after weeks of ill health, was accused of being more heavily involved in phone hacking with private detective Glenn Mulcaire in 2005 and 2006 than was previously heard.

Goodman and Mulcaire were convicted in 2006 of hacking phones in relation to royal aides.

But their activities went further than that, jurors were told.

The then Ms Middleton's phone was hacked 155 times, Prince William 35 times and Prince Harry nine times, the Old Bailey trial heard.

Kate was even hacked on Christmas Day 2005, jurors heard.

The details emerged as Goodman was being cross examined by ex-NotW editor Andy Coulson's lawyer Timothy Langdale QC.

He asked: "I'm going to suggest you had direct contact with Glenn Mulcaire significantly before the time you have told us - that you yourself had been hacking on a much wider scale than you have told this court about."

Goodman said he had not been asked a direct question.

The witness said he had been assured by the Crown Prosecution Service he would not be charged with any more hacking but no-one had asked him.

When presented with a list of hacking victims, he said: "I'm not on trial for hacking," adding: "There has been no intention to deceive you or anybody else in relation to phone hacking."

On his arrest in 2006, Mr Langdale said: "It's the one thing you must have been more worried about than anything else that it would become clear you yourself had been hacking members of the royal family."

Goodman replied: "I was terrified of the whole thing. I was mortified."

Mr Langdale said Kate Middleton, who was to become the Duchess of Cambridge, was first hacked on October 21 2005.

Mr Langdale asked the witness why she had been targeted and if he had tasked Mulcaire to do it.

He replied: "She was a figure of increasing importance around the royal family. There were discussions about her and Prince William marrying, moving in, settling down. She started to receive semi royal status and things were moving on."

Mr Langdale said: "You are telling us Glenn Mulcaire hacked her without any instruction from you? Did you task him to do that?"

He replied: "I do not remember tasking him to do that. It's possible but I do not recall."

He added: "I have been as open and honest about hacking as I can be but nobody has asked me any questions about this before."

Mr Langdale said: "You knew perfectly well you hacked Prince Harry and Prince William didn't you?"

Goodman replied: "Nobody asked me."

He added that often he and Mulcaire hacked the same messages.

Goodman, of Addlestone, Surrey, denies two counts of conspiring with Coulson and others to commit misconduct in public office.

All seven defendants in the trial deny the charges against them.
Earlier, Mr Justice Saunders addressed the jury, saying: "As you know we have been waiting for Mr Goodman to be fit enough to continue to complete his evidence. We have had to wait because he has been ill."

He summarised Goodman's evidence so far for the jury before Mr Langdale began his questioning.

The trial continues.

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