Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hacker Bugged Royal Phones

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hacker Bugged Royal Phones

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT JOBSON

A NEWS of the World reporter today issued a courtroom apology to Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry for hacking into their private phone messages.

Clive Goodman, 48, the tabloid's royal editor, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey of conspiracy to intercept communications. He now faces prison when sentenced in the new year.

His barrister, John Kelsey-Fry QC, told Mr Justice Gross: "Mr Goodman wishes through me to take the first opportunity to apologise publicly to those affected by his actions. It was a gross invasion of privacy and Mr Goodman accepts that is accurate.

"He wishes to apologise to the three members of the royal household staff and, moreover, to their principals - the Royal Highnesses Prince William, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales."

Ordering pre-sentence reports, the judge warned Goodman: "All options are open, this is an extremely serious matter."

Other victims in the royal household were Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a former SAS officer who is private secretary to William and Harry; Paddy Harverson, Charles's communications secretary, and Clarence House aide Helen Asprey. Glenn Mulcaire, 35, of Sutton, also pleaded guilty to the conspiracy over nine months between last November and August.

He also admitted five counts of unlawfully intercepting voicemail messages left for publicist Max Clifford, model Elle Macpherson, Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes, Professional Footballers Association boss Gordon Taylor and Sky Andrew, a PR agent to stars including footballer Sol Campbell.

Private investigator Mulcaire is a former professional footballer for Wimbledon and describes himself as a businessman. Goodman and Mulcaire were remanded on bail to return to

court for sentencing in January.

The maximum is two years and an unlimited fine.

The extraordinary case has echoes of previous royal bugging scandals such as the "Squidgygate" and "Camillagate" tapes in the Nineties. …

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