Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Detective May Have Hacked for Mirror and Sun, Says QC

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Detective May Have Hacked for Mirror and Sun, Says QC

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Lydall Chief News Correspondent

THE scale of phone hacking at the News of the World was like a "thriving cottage industry" and may also have been carried out for The Sun and Mirror, a public inquiry heard today.

Robert Jay QC, opening the Leveson inquiry into press ethics and criminal activities, said that the level of immoral and illegal activity at the Sunday tabloid went far beyond its jailed former royal editor Clive Goodman -- skewering the paper's claims that hacking was carried out only by a "rogue reporter".

As the father of Milly Dowler watched from the public gallery, Mr Jay also said that private detective Glenn Mulcaire's notebooks suggest he hacked phones for The Sun and Daily Mirror.

The investigator wrote first names in the top left-hand corner of his notes recording details of the telephone voicemails he illegally intercepted.

Some of these corresponded to News of the World employees, one of whom -- referred to only as "A" -- apparently made 1,453 separate requests for information from Mulcaire. But the private detective also wrote "The Sun" and a name relating to the Daily Mirror in his notebooks, the inquiry was told.

Mulcaire was jailed with Goodman in January 2007 after they admitted intercepting voicemail messages left on phones belonging to members of the royal household.

As the Leveson inquiry began, Bob Dowler sat with his head bowed as it was told how it had been ordered by the Prime Minister after it was revealed that the school girl's phone had been hacked during the search for her.

Mr Jay said: "Although the individual or individuals who deleted Milly's voicemails back in 2002 may not have realised at the time what the consequences might have been in terms of raising false hopes, public opinion was rightly sickened by the carelessness and cynicism of the perpetrators. …

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