Leveson Inquiry: NOTW accused over murder suspects

 

Former Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames suggested today that the News of the World placed her under surveillance because of the paper's links to suspects in a notorious murder case.

She rejected as "absolutely pathetic" ex-News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks's claim that the paper was investigating whether she was having an affair with detective chief superintendent Dave Cook, who was actually her husband.

Ms Hames, herself a former Scotland Yard detective, fought back tears as she told the Leveson Inquiry of the damaging effect that being followed by private investigators had on her and her marriage.

The News of the World placed the couple under surveillance after Mr Cook made an appeal on Crimewatch in June 2002 for information about the 1987 murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan, the inquiry into press standards heard.

Ms Hames alleged that Mr Morgan's firm Southern Investigations, whose members included suspects in the killing, had "close links" to senior News of the World news editor Alex Marunchak.

She said in a statement to the inquiry: "I believe that the real reason for the News of the World placing us under surveillance was that suspects in the Daniel Morgan murder inquiry were using their association with a powerful and well-resourced newspaper to try to intimidate us and so attempt to subvert the investigation.

"These events left me distressed, anxious and needing counselling, and contributed to the breakdown of my marriage to David in 2010.

"Given the impact of these events, I would like to know why the police did not investigate why we came to be placed under surveillance by a newspaper like this."

Dick Fedorcio, the Metropolitan Police's director of public affairs, asked Ms Brooks to explain why Ms Hames and Mr Cook were placed under surveillance.

The then-News of the World editor said the paper was investigating suspicions they were having an affair, and repeated this explanation at a meeting in 2003.

Ms Hames said in her statement: "This was utterly nonsensical as we had by then been married for four years, had been together for 11 years and had two children.

"Our marriage was common knowledge to the extent that we had even appeared together in Hello! magazine."

Referring to the efforts to find out information about her and her ex-husband, she added: "I think any reasonable person would find it difficult not to put them together and feel that in some way there was some collusion between people at the News of the World and the people who were suspected of committing the murder of Daniel Morgan."

In May 2011 Scotland Yard officers informed Ms Hames that her details had been found in the notebooks of Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator working for the News of the World who was jailed for phone hacking in 2007.

The information included her payroll and police warrant numbers, her home address and mobile phone number, and notes about Mr Cook.

Ms Hames said Mulcaire's notes were dated July 3 2002, about a week before the News of the World placed her and her husband under surveillance.

"This demonstrates to me that the News of the World knew full well that I was married to David at the time of the surveillance and thus gives the lie to their explanation for it," she said in her statement.

"This information could only have come from one place: my MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) file. I was horrified by the realisation that someone within the MPS had supplied information from my personnel file to Mr Mulcaire, and probably for money.

"Similarly distressing was the realisation that the MPS had known about these entries in Mr Mulcaire's notebooks since 2006 but had chosen neither to inform me nor to investigate it adequately."

She added that she was serving in a covert intelligence unit on a "highly-sensitive" inquiry about airport security at the time the information about her was leaked to Mulcaire.

She said: "I have always been loyal to the MPS, but I do feel very let down by this failure to inform or protect me from the unlawful actions of the press."

Mr Morgan, 37, who was originally from Monmouthshire, was found with an axe in his head in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south London, on March 10 1987.

The case against three men accused of killing him collapsed last March.

Mr Cook was arrested last month over alleged illegal leaks to a journalist as part of Scotland Yard's investigation into corruption of public officials, known as Operation Elveden. He was later bailed and has not been charged.

Prime Minister David Cameron set up the Leveson Inquiry last July in response to claims that the News of the World hacked murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone after she disappeared in 2002.

The first part of the inquiry, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, is looking at the culture, practices and ethics of the press in general and is due to produce a report by September.

The second part, examining the extent of unlawful activities by journalists, will not begin until detectives have completed their investigation into alleged phone hacking and corrupt payments to police, and any prosecutions have been concluded.

The inquiry was adjourned until tomorrow, when it will hear evidence from three Scotland Yard officers involved in the original phone-hacking inquiry in 2006.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Brand Marketing Manager - Essex - £45,000 + £5000 car allowance

£40000 - £45000 per annum + car allowance: Ashdown Group: Senior Brand Manager...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer /.NET Software Developer

£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer /.NET Software ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing Exec (SEO / PPC)

£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...

Guru Careers: Technical Operations Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical Ope...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all