What we learnt – the most important quotes from the hacking trial

Justice1080Posted: June 30, 2014 at 9:01 am

By Martin Hickman.

“You’re a company man now.”
– What a News International executive told reporter Dan Evans after hearing a hacked voicemail (according to Dan Evans), Old Bailey, 28 January 2014

“Pretty much every piece of personal data.”
– Dan Evans on what medical records and other confidential information the News of the World could obtain, Old Bailey, 27 January 2014

“Andy – one of our royal policeman (St James’s Palace) has obtained the brand new green book, the telephone directory with all the phone numbers of the royal family… The standard price is £1,000.”
– Clive Goodman email to Andy Coulson, editor of the News of the World, 1.38pm, 24 January 2003

“This is fine. Didn’t I sign off on purchase of green book quite recently?”
- Andy Coulson’s response, 1.41pm, 24 January 2003

“Andy – OK to pay the guy on this?”
- Clive Goodman, asking for £1,000 to pay a royal directory from “one of our palace cops”, 1.40pm, 1 June 2005

“Fine”
- Andy Coulson’s response, 2.13pm, 1 June 2005

“No”
- Rebekah Brooks, asked by her lawyer whether she knew about private detective Glenn Mulcaire’s £100,000-a-year contract with the News of the World, Old Bailey, 14 April 2014

“I knew it was an investigative service of some kind.”
- Andy Coulson, on the contract with Mulcaire’s company, Nine Consultancy, Old Bailey, 14 April 2014

“It’s very difficult to trace convicted paedophiles…”
- Rebekah Brooks, explaining occasions when the News of the World used private detectives, Old Bailey, 21 February 2014

“I can’t remember that conversation, no.”
– Andy Coulson, on whether he asked how the NoW obtained the phone messages of David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, in July 2004, Old Bailey, 25 April 2014

“After this revelation Mr Coulson accepts that there was no inquiry at the newspaper into whether there was any other phone hacking taking place.”
- Judge John Saunders, on what happened after the hacking of David Blunkett’s voicemails, Old Bailey, 9 June 2014

“He said something along the lines of: ‘I already know what your splash or cover is because I’ve been listening to your messages’.”
- Witness Ambi Sitham, recalling a conversation between Piers Morgan and Rebekah Brooks in a restaurant in Balham in 2004, Old Bailey, 12 December 2014

“She came back to him and retorted: ‘Been hacking into my phone again, Piers’.”
- Ambi Sitham, Old Bailey, 12 December 2014

“I don’t remember doing so.”
– Andy Coulson, on whether he had spoken to Mrs Brooks about the hacked story on Milly Dowler, Old Bailey, 25 April 2014

“It’s a managing editor going to see a colleague in trouble and, obviously, he would be failing in his duty if he did not find out what was going on…”
- Jonathan Caplan QC, explaining why Stuart Kuttner was asking Clive Goodman about the scope of the police inquiry into hacking after his arrest on 8 August 2006, Old Bailey, 30 May 2014

“He expressed the view that through his and the newspaper’s contacts he had discovered that the police didn’t want the case to go any deeper than me and Mulcaire, and nobody wanted it to end up in a jail sentence.”
- Clive Goodman, on what Andy Coulson told him on 14 August 2006, Old Bailey, 19 March 2014

“It may not be the most successful damage limitation exercise ever.”
- Mr Justice Saunders, on News International’s behaviour between 2007 and 2011, Old Bailey, 10 June 2014

“Well, you know, shock, horror, everything.”
- Rebekah Brooks on discovering on 4 July 2011 that the News of the World had hacked Milly Dowler’s phone, 25 February 2011

“…Result of report when published would slam Les, Colin Etc and it will vindicate my position (or not).”
- Rebekah Brooks to James Murdoch suggesting how hacking could be blamed on ex-chief executive Les Hinton and News of the World editor Colin Myler, 8 July 2011

“We still have legitimate concerns someone in the Metropolitan Police may be providing information to the media off the record.”
- Andy Coulson’s solicitor, complaining about leaks to the press, 11 July 2011

“I had an hour on the phone to Tony Blair… He is available for you, KRM and me as an unofficial adviser but needs to be between us.”
- Rebekah Brooks relaying Mr Blair’s private offer of help to James and Rupert Murdoch, 11 July 2007

“I can’t remember.”
– Andy Coulson, on who told him Milly Dowler was working at a factory in the Midlands, Old Bailey, 25 April 2014

“No record of return, assume still with user.”
- News International’s IT department, about seven phones and other digital devices used by Rebekah Brooks, Old Bailey, 24 January 2014

“All notebooks from Rebekah Brooks (nee Wades) 1995 – 2007”
- Label on 7 boxes removed from News International’s archives on 8 July 2011

“I didn’t know any of that.”
- Cheryl Carter, Rebekah Brooks’ PA, explaining that in July 2011 she was unaware the police had been investigating phone hacking for six months, Old Bailey 27 March 2014

“So incredibly stupidly and rashly I thought I will just put this to one side.”
- Charlie Brooks, on why he hid his bags from the Metropolitan Police, Old Bailey, 31 March 2014

“Broadsword calling Danny Boy, the pizza has been delivered and the chicken is in the pot.”
– Text from a security guard after taking Charlie Brooks’ bags and a pizza in an underground car park, 17 July 2011

“F**king amateurs, they should have done a DLD [dead letter drop] or brush contact by the Thames.”
- Text reply from second security guard, 17 July 2011

“It must be the first time anyone in this building has used a Clio as a getaway vehicle.”
– William Clegg, QC, for Mark Hanna, Old Bailey, 3 June 2014

“Do you remember editing a newspaper?”
- Andrew Edis, QC, for the Crown, to Mr Coulson, Old Bailey, 25 April 2014

“The defining feature of a medieval trial for witchcraft was that the accused could never win.”
– Jonathan Laidlaw QC, for Rebekah Brooks, Old Bailey, 21 May 2014

“Is this a case where you are young, inexperienced, talented, ambitious, clever and charming – and have been placed in a position of great power, and have for a mixture of those reasons (ambition, lack of experience perhaps) allowed yourselves in the excitement of the chase to tell yourselves that it doesn’t matter if what you are doing is lawful or not?  You just want the story…”
– Andrew Edis QC, Old Bailey, 7 May 2014.

Martin Hickman covered every day of the trial for Hacked Off. He is publishing Beyond Contempt, a book on the trial by Peter Jukes, at hackingtrial.com.

one comment

  1. john - reply

    “The defining feature of a medieval trial for witchcraft was that the accused could never win.”
    – Jonathan Laidlaw QC, for Rebekah Brooks, Old Bailey, 21 May 2014

    Perhaps overly nerdy of me to point this out., but this claim is plain wrong. Firstly, witch trials were overwhelmingly a feature of early modern rather than medieval Europe (where scepticism over the existence witchcraft was widespread as it was viewed as superstition). Secondly acquittals were commonplace even at the height of the European Witch Craze.

    I hope this bombast didn’t unduly influence the jury.

    “In York, England, at the height of the Great Hunt (1567–1640) one half of all witchcraft cases brought before church courts were dismissed for lack of evidence. No torture was used, and the accused could clear himself by providing four to eight “comparators”, people who were willing to swear that he wasn’t a witch. Only 21% of the cases ended with convictions, and the Church did not impose any kind of corporal or capital punishment.[58]”

    Gibbons, Jenny (1998). “Recent Developments in the Study of the Great European Witch Hunt”. The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies 5.

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