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Phone-hacking trial: Goodman questioned further on Andy Coulson evidence

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.

    Timothy Langdale QC

  • 2006 Police search of News of the World "stopped by executives"
  • Goodman presented with emails challenging his account of events
  • Court adjourns early as defendant "losing focus"
  • Proceedings resumed after lunch with further cross-examination of former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman by Andy Coulson's counsel, Timothy Langdale QC.

    The defence barrister asked Goodman about a cassette which contained a recording of a voicemail message left by Prince Harry on the mobile telephone of royal aide Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. The witness told the court he believed that the police had found this cassette at his office desk when they searched it after his 2006 arrest, although he believed the search was later stopped after objections from News International executives. "I thought they were going to search the whole building," he told the court.

    The QC then asked the witness about a reference in an email to Edward McDeemot. "I don't know who that is," Goodman replied. It was a school friend of Kate Middleton, Langdale said. "Did she not go to a girls' school?" Goodman asked. "I mean her later schooling," Langdale responded. "Are we going to get into a long discussion about what school she went to now?" Judge Saunders asked, and when told no replied "good" and suggested defence counsel move on.

    The defendant was then asked about one of his sources, "Farish." Goodman confirmed that this was a false name but argued that the name of the source was protected by "human rights legislation", only confirming he was a "newspaperman". Langdale asked why, then, Goodman had written an email informing Stuart Kuttner that if the name got out it would have been "curtains for him and curtains for us". The witness said that it was common in the tabloid world to exaggerate the importance of sources to increase the chance of a story being published. Goodman told the court that he also sourced stories from a website called Holy Moly. "It was the early days of the internet and everyone was nicking stories from everyone," he said. Judge Saunders then intervened and suggested to the defence barrister that the current topic was "a little bit remote from what we are talking about".

    Defence counsel them moved on to further emails relating to the defendant, including one from a senior journalist, who we cannot name for legal reasons, complaining about the former royal editor discussing stories with his sister Fran who also worked at the paper. "I think that was a childish overreaction," the defendant told the court, "he thought I was trying to subvert the system".

    Court then took a short break

    When the jury returned, Timothy Langdale QC brought into evidence further emails between Goodman and others at the News of the World which, he told the court, showed various people being what he called "irritated" with Goodman not leaving the office for stories. The barrister asked about Goodman's evidence that he did not know where the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst was and asked the defendant if he had ever submitted and expenses claim for a visit there. "I'm sorry Mr Langdale if I can't remember if I've been to Sandhurst," Goodman told the QC, but agreed that he may have went there once while Prince William and Prince Harry were studying there.

    Goodman then told the court he was "losing concentration" and Judge Saunders said they would finish this section of documents then "review the situation". The next email shown to the jury referred to a business being set up by Kate Middleton "not going well". Asked by the defence barrister, Goodman confirmed "regretfully" he had sourced the information from intercepting Middleton's voicemails.

    Judge Saunders then asked the witness how he was feeling and the defendant said he was "losing focus". Saunders then adjourned the trial until 10am tomorrow.

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