Hacking trial: ‘I hacked Kate Middleton’s phone 155 times,’ former NOTW royal editor Clive Goodman tells court
Mr Goodman also admitted hacking the phones of Prince William 35 times and Prince Harry nine times
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Wednesday 14 May 2014
The phones of Kate Middleton and princes William and Harry were hacked almost 200 times by Clive Goodman, the former royal editor of the News of the World (NOTW), the jury at the hacking trial has been told.
Returning to the witness box at the Old Bailey to complete his evidence after an eight-week absence due to illness, Goodman admitted for the first time that he had hacked the phones of senior members of the Royal Family. He revealed he had hacked Ms Middleton’s phone a number of times on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day in 2005.
Cross-examined by counsel for the former editor of the NOTW Andy Coulson, Goodman denied changing evidence he gave earlier in the trial.
He told the court that in the eight years since he was arrested, and later jailed, for hacking in 2006, neither the police nor crown prosecutors had asked him about illegally accessing the voicemails of the two princes and the then Ms Middleton, who later became the Duchess of Cambridge.
Timothy Langdale, QC read Goodman details from phone data taken from 2005 and 2006. Arguing that he was “under stress from the Crown Prosecution Service” and feared further hacking charges would be brought against him, Goodman denied that he had “forgotten” he had hacked Ms Middleton’s phone 155 times, Prince William’s 35 times, and Prince Harry’s nine times.
Explaining his earlier alleged silence, Goodman told the court that he was “not on trial for hacking” and insisted: “There has been no intention to deceive you or anyone else in relation to phone hacking.”
Under persistent questioning from Mr Langdale, Goodman was accused of being forced to admit what he knew, and of “knowing perfectly well” he had hacked the phones of both William and Harry.
Goodman, 56, replied: “Nobody asked me.” He said: “My entire life has been exposed… Anyone who wants to ask me questions will get a straight answer – as you are getting today.” He later said he had been “open and honest”.
Questioned on other data from phone records, Goodman accepted he had hacked the phone of Kate Waddington, the Duchess of York’s personal assistant, and that of Sarah Ferguson, 160 times.
Goodman is charged alongside Mr Coulson of involvement in a conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office by paying a palace police officer for royal telephone directories. Both deny the charges.
The jury has previously been told that Goodman needed medical attention for a heart condition, and that his two-month absence involved a medical evaluation of his fitness to continue in the trial.
Questioned about his direct contact at the NOTW with the paper’s private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who was convicted alongside Goodman on hacking charges in 2007, he said: “Virtually every story on the paper was ground through the Glenn Mulcaire mill.”
There are four other defendants in the trial, including the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks. All deny the charges against them.
The trial continues.
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