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Dowlers to testify over 'despicable act'


Revelations that Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked propelled a newspaper scandal into a matter of public outrage. Today the murdered schoolgirl's parents will be the first witnesses before Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into media ethics and practice, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Sally and Bob Dowler will speak of the personal agony created by the "despicable act" of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire when he gave them false hope by deleting messages from Milly's mobile, leading them to believe their daughter might be alive.

The actor Hugh Grant is also expected to give evidence, condemning the paparazzi for hounding the actress Tinglan Hong after she gave birth to his baby daughter.

Today's other witnesses are listed to be the writer Joan Smith, whose phone was allegedly hacked because of her relationship with the MP Denis MacShane, as well as Graham Shear, a solicitor who represents high-profile celebrities.

This week the inquiry will also hear from Gerry McCann, the father of missing Madeleine McCann, the actress Sienna Miller, the writer JK Rowling and the comedian Steve Coogan.