NOTW 'spied on detectives for suspect in murder case'

 

The News of the World tried to intimidate police detectives by placing them under surveillance in order to "subvert" a murder investigation whose key suspect had financial links to the Sunday tabloid, the Leveson Inquiry into the press and the police heard yesterday.

In the most emotional testimony yet heard by the inquiry, Jacqui Hames – a former detective constable who helped anchor the BBC's Crimewatch programme – accused Rebekah Brooks, the NOTW's former editor, of offering "pathetic" excuses after the surveillance operation was exposed.

Ms Hames broke down in tears in the courtroom as she tried to explain the fallout from the NOTW's operation that followed her then husband being given the job of reopening a murder investigation in 2002.

After the 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan, who was found dead in a Sydenham pub car park with an axe in his head, four police inquiries had focused on Mr Morgan's former business partner in a private detective agency, Jonathan Rees.

All the inquiries had been discontinued. Then in 2002, Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Cook, Ms Hames's husband at the time, appeared on Crimewatch to launch another police investigation into the murder.

Mr Rees's agency, Southern Investigations, the inquiry heard, was making around £150,000 a year in commissions from the NOTW, mostly delivering illegally obtained information.

According to Ms Hames's witness statement the Metropolitan Police received intelligence just after Cook was tasked with heading the inquiry that one of the suspects "intended to make life difficult for him". In July 2002 the couple found themselves under surveillance after noticing two vans parked outside their home. After contact with other Met officers, it was discovered that the vehicles were leased to News International through one of NOTW's senior editors, Alex Marunchak.

Dick Fedorcio, the Met's public affairs head, contacted Ms Brooks asking for an explanation. Despite Hames and Cook being married for four years with two children, and a profile of them appearing in Hello! magazine, Ms Brooks said the paper suspected them of "having an affair with each other".

Mr Hames's statement described this as "utterly nonsensical". She told the inquiry : "I believe the real reason they placed 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 and intimidate us and so attempt to subvert the investigation."

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

Following the Fedorcio meeting, Ms Brooks agreed to look into Mr Marunchaks' association with Mr Rees and Southern Investigations. Mr Marunchak was not given a warning, instead he was promoted by Ms Brooks. Mr Rees was cleared of the murder of Daniel Morgan last March.

Joanna Yeates case: Suspect says press were tipped off

Chris Jefferies, the landlord of murdered architect Joanna Yeates, said that Avon and Somerset Police identified him to journalists as their prime suspect in her killing.

Mr Jefferies told the Leveson Inquiry he believed officers passed information about one of his witness statements to reporters and tipped them off about their suspicions before his arrest.

The retired teacher, who played no part in the crime and is suing police, said he believed the press would not have been bold enough to print accusations about him if the police had not said he was "their man".

For a guide to who's who at the Leveson Inquiry click HERE

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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: HR Assistant - Immediate Start - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant - Immediate ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Advertising Sales Consultant - OTE £30k

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Gloucestershire's most innovati...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Advertising Sales Consultant - OTE £40k

£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Gloucestershire's most innovati...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders