Phone-hacking trial: William and Kate phones hacked 170 times, Clive Goodman tells court

The trial of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, the prime minister's former director of communications Andy Coulson and six others began at the Old Bailey on 28 October. The Drum will be in court for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last at least four months, and will provide comprehensive updates on this blog.

The trial is scheduled to examine seven counts that include conspiracy to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Coverage will be provided by James Doleman, who was acclaimed for his exhaustive and responsible reporting of the Tommy Sheridan perjury trial.

Evidence: William and Kate's phones were hacked

  • Goodman agrees he hacked more phones than previously admitted
  • First confirmation that Prince William's phone hacked by News of the World journalist
  • Kate Middleton voicemail intercepted 135 times in 2005/06
  • Defendant tells court Prince Charles/Michael Fawcett story a "delicate matter"
  • Almost every story went through Mulcaire, former Royal editor tells court
  • "It sounds awful now but in business terms it was a no-brainer," jury hears
  • Proceedings resumed after lunch to hear further cross-examination of former News of the World Royal editor Clive Goodman by Timothy Langdale QC, counsel for Andy Coulson. The court has already heard Goodman testify that Coulson approved his involvement in intercepting voicemails from the mobile phones of members of the Royal household, a claim Coulson denies.

    Langdale began the afternoon by asking Goodman to look at telephone records relating to a member of the Royal household, Helen Asprey, which showed, the barrister suggested, that her phone was being hacked by both Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in 2005. The defendant agreed that this was correct. Langdale then asked why phone records showed Mulcaire had called the defendant in February 2005 and asked why the phone-hacker would have called him then when the witness had said he only started working with him in October that year. "He was probably pitching a story to me," Goodman replied. "Where did you think he got his stories from at the time?" the barrister asked. "It's ten years ago," the former Royal editor said, adding: "I've never hidden anything about phone-hacking but I can't recall exact events at this distance of time."

    Langdale then asked the witness to confirm that he was hacking more people than he admitted in his previous testimony eight weeks ago. "Yes," Goodman replied. "Why did you not tell us that at the time?" the barrister asked. "I'm not on trial for phone-hacking," the defendant replied. "These names were never put to me, but now they are out there I'm happy to give a full account of these." The defendant went on to say that he had been under pressure from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) but now that he had been told they were not going to press charges he was "happy to give a full answer". The defendant told the court he was "terrified of the whole thing" and agreed he had hacked the phone of Prince William 35 times, Prince Harry nine times and Kate Middleton 135 times.

    The defendant was then asked about his hacking of Kate Middleton's phone. "She was an increasingly important figure in the Royal family, she had semi-Royal status," he replied. Asked about records that show Goodman intercepted the voicemail of Michael Fawcett, the witness explained that Fawcett was a former valet to the Prince of Wales but asked that he not be pressed for details as the story he was researching was "a matter of extreme delicacy for all concerned".

    The barrister then asked the witness if he had forgotten all of these instances of voicemail interception. "It's only because of the information that has come out in this trial that you are being forced to admit it."

    "Neither the CPS or the police ever asked about this at the time," Goodman replied, saying: "I could only answer the allegations that were put to me, that's all I can do." The court was then shown telephone records that Goodman's last hack was on the phone of Kate Middleton on 7 August 2006, the day before he was arrested by officers from the anti-terrorist squad.

    The witness was then asked about a text message in which Mulciare asked Goodman to meet a "current spook". Goodman told the court that Glenn Mulcaire had an idea that a 2006 gas explosion in London was caused by a terrorist group and had arranged a meeting with someone from the security services to "give credibility to his theory". Asked about his testimony that Mulcaire had told him he got his information from the security services, the defendant told the court: "That is what he said," and denied the barrister's suggestion that he had "dreamt this up".

    Langdale then suggested to the witness that telephone records showed he had been in contact will Mulcaire before October 2005. "I never denied being in touch with him," Goodman said. "He was a fact of news desk life." The former Royal editor told the court that he was not the person who gave Mulcaire the details of a friend of Prince Charles, Hugh Van Cutsem, and after examining Mulcaire's note he said: "There is zero evidence of hacking here. I'm seeking location details and telephone details."

    "You could find out his address easily," Langdale suggested. "Newspapers use enquiry agents all the time to find people who are in the news," Goodman replied.

    Court then took a short break

    On the jury's return, Goodman was shown another Glenn Mulcaire note quoting "Clive" asking for details about Harry Legge-Bourke. "This looks like another example of me looking for location information," the defendant replied. Langdale asked the former Royal editor if he was trying to find out the location of a party being held for Prince William. "There were lots of events and parties with the Royal Family," Goodman replied. The witness was then shown an internal News International email from 2006, headed "Prince William's secret party", but he denied he had tasked Glenn Mulcaire to hack any phones in relation to it, only that he was trying to arrange to have an investigator, Derek Webb, to follow possible guests to find out its location. Langdale then asked Goodman: "Did you task Glenn Mulcaire to hack Kate Waddington's phone?"

    "I thought I already said that," Goodman replied.

    Goodman was then shown another Mulcaire note which listed the names of four members of his family. "Was this anything to do with hacking?" the barrister asked. "Goodness, no," the former Royal editor responded, telling the court he was seeking addresses as one of his "in-laws" had become a stranger to the family. The defendant then told the court that he had given the name of the Sun's Royal reporter, Charles Rae, to Mulcaire as the private investigator was "thinking of jumping ship" as he was angry at how he was being treated at the News of the World. "There is no question I was trying to hack Charles Rae, he was a good friend of mine, one of the few Royal reporters I could talk sensibly with."

    The defendant was then asked about his evidence that he had discussed phone-hacking with then News of the World editor, and co-defendant, Andy Coulson after being approached by Glenn Mulcaire. "Did Mulcaire know you were hacking the phones of the Royal family?" Goodman was asked. "You'd have to ask Glen Mulcaire that," he replied. "I'm not the slightest bit proud of what we did, he told the court, what we were doing was formalising an arrangement, it was a bit of stability for him." he added. The former Royal editor was asked about his evidence that he was told that the security services had been involved in the hacking. "The Royal family had a lot of security services around them," he said, adding that it was only when he was arrested that he had found out Mulcaire's methods, including the mobile phone that was built into a cash point." The defendant went on: "Glenn was suggesting DDN and PINs came from a member of security services, it was impossible to check, I just reported." Mulcaire, Goodman said, was a "valuable resource for the paper, almost every story went through him. If I had used him, not told Andy [Coulson] and something went wrong, my career would have been over, I had to tell him," he added, telling the court: "It sounds awful now, but in business terms it was a no-brainer, In the great scheme of things, £500 a week would barely cover the photocopying bill."

    Court then adjourned until 10am tomorrow.

    All of the defendants deny all of the charges, the trial continues.

    Click here to view more posts from The Drum's daily phone-hacking trial coverage straight from the Old Bailey

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