Hacking trial: Andy Coulson could reveal anything to Rebekah Brooks during their six-year affair, court told

Relationship meant he trusted her enough to reveal 'any confidence' including potential criminality, Old Bailey hears

The intimate physical relationship between Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, which spanned six years, meant he trusted her enough to reveal “any confidence” including potential criminality, the phone hacking trial at the Old Bailey has heard.

On the second day of the prosecution’s cross-examination of Mrs Brooks’ evidence, the former chief executive of News International was questioned about the period in 2002 when the News of the World hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler. Mrs Brooks was then the paper’s editor and Mr Coulson her deputy.

The court was read details from an intimate letter found on Mrs Brooks’ computer which was seized by the police. Addressed to Mr Coulson, she wrote the words: “for six years I’ve waited”. She told the court this did not mean the affair lasted six years. “I hadn’t been sitting there like Miss Havisham,” she told the court.

When she said she had “trusted” Mr Coulson as a friend and a deputy, the prosecution’s lead counsel, Andrew Edis QC, asked if their relationship went further than that. He said: “If a deputy editor was committing a crime he might not want the editor, in normal circumstances, to find out about it. But he might if he trusted her.”

He then asked Mrs Brooks: “Was the relationship in 2002 such that Mr Coulson could trust you with any confidence?” Almost inaudibly, she answered: “Yes.”

Later, Mr Edis asked about an 81-second phone call that Mr Coulson made to her in August 2004, minutes before he interviewed the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett. The court has heard that Mr Blunkett’s phone was hacked around that time, leading to a story in the NOTW about his private life.

She denied that the brief call had been about this interview, telling the court: “Our relationship was complicated enough. I don’t remember him [Mr Coulson] telling me he’d gone to see Mr Blunkett.”

Earlier in the cross-examination, Mrs Brooks denied  an allegation from Mr Edis that the NOTW’s “books had been cooked” to prevent anyone investigating the phone hacking practices of the private investigator, Glen Mulcaire. “I did not cook any books,” she said.

Mulcaire was jailed for hacking in 2006 and pleaded guilty to hacking-related charges earlier in the trial proceedings.

Mrs Brooks is among seven defendants charged with conspiracy to hack phones, bribing public officials, and being involved in conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. All deny the charges against them.

The trial will resume on Monday.

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution