Hacking trial: Former NOTW Managing Editor Stuart Kuttner 'appalled' at allegations against him

‘I spent 29 years . . . involved in committees that set standards'

Stuart Kuttner, the News of the World's former managing editor, said he has never hacked a telephone or bribed a policeman and he is "shocked" to be accused of such behaviour.

He made the blanket denials in his August 2011 police interviews, transcripts of which were read to the jury at the Old Bailey hacking trial.

Mr Kuttner claimed that in contrast to such underhand behaviour, he had worked hard to uphold strong standards of journalism across the industry while he worked at the tabloid.

"I will say now I am utterly appalled at the allegations made against me personally, " Mr Kuttner said in his police interview.

"I spent 29 years at the the News of the World (NOTW) and much other time in Fleet Street involved in committees that set standards.

"I worked with Lord Wakeham after the death of the Princess of Wales involving the standard that the paparazzi might work under...

"I was involved right in the beginning in assisting the editor of the construction of the editors' code of practice and much else.

" I've never knowingly, and I use the world quite consciously and deliberately, I have never knowingly bribed a policeman, which appears to be among your allegations.

"I have never knowingly played any part whatsoever in the hacking or bugging of anybody's telephone and I'm very shocked at the events of today but I'm here to answer your questions and I will continue to do so."

The tabloid's former editor Andy Coulson and Kuttner, 73, of Woodford Green, Essex,are accused of conspiring to hack phones between October 3 2000 and August 9 2006, along with former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks.

Former NotW and Sun editor Brooks also faces two counts of conspiring with others to commit misconduct in public office - one between January 1 2004 and January 31 2012, and the other between February 9 2006 and October 16 2008 - linked to alleged inappropriate payments to public officials.

She also faces two allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - one with her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, 49, of Chelmsford, Essex, between July 6 and 9 2011, and a second with her husband Charles Brooks, and former News International head of security Mark Hanna and others between July 15 and July 19 2011.

Coulson is also facing two allegations that he conspired with former NotW royal editor Clive Goodman, 56, from Addlestone in Surrey, and other unknown people to commit misconduct in public office - between August 31 2002 and January 31 2003, and between January 31 and June 3 2005.

Jurors were told that news editor Ian Edmondson , who is charged with conspiring to hack phones between October 3 2000 and August 9 2006, is "currently unfit" and will take no further part in the trial.

He will be tried by a different jury at a later date, Mr Justice Saunders said.

Kuttner denied in his police interview that the approach at the NotW was to get the story at any cost.

He was asked: "Can you tell me about any knowledge you have regarding Mrs Brooks's possible involvement or knowledge of phone hacking occurring in the News of the World?"

Kuttner replied: " No."

He was asked: "Did you conspire with Mrs Brooks at any point to intercept phones, so phone hacking, during your time work with her?"

Kuttner replied: "I neither conspired with Rebekah Brooks nor with anybody nor had any part in phone hacking."

He was asked: "From your memory, was there a culture within the News of the World of turning a blind eye to the practices that journalists or reporters, or again anybody, who were involved in that they possibly shouldn't have been? Was there that culture, 'as long as we don't know about it, it's OK'?"

Kuttner said: "Not that I'm aware of."

His job as managing editor was largely a financial role involving the budgets of various departments and he would also go to the morning editorial conferences, the court heard.

Signing off expenses credits was a significant part of his job.

He would be involved with high-profile campaigns, sometimes where a reward was offered in criminal cases. He would also do TV and radio interviews to help promote the paper.

Asked which he liked best in his career - management or writing - Mr Kuttner told detectives: "The word 'reporter' is inscribed into my heart but it does not mean that you do not get on with other aspects of the job."

He said he was probably the last person at the company to get an email address and he did not even know how to answer his mobile phone, saying he preferred speaking to people.

Kuttner said he "liked" Coulson and he recalled speaking with him about phone hacking with regard to the "Goodman affair".

He and Coulson said "just how appalled we were at the whole business", he said.

Kuttner described the day Goodman and private detective Glenn Mulcaire were arrested as "the most traumatic in my life in newspapers".

He told the detectives: "It was an appalling day. Subsequently, much more recently, the day the News of the World closed was equally traumatic in a different way and today exceeds them both."

He said he was "shattered by this event".

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
News
i100
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015