Hacking trial: News of the World rival ‘was also hacking Milly Dowler’s voicemails’ claims Glenn Mulcaire

Glenn Mulcaire claims he was jointly ‘tasked’  to access the murdered girl’s phone

Political Correspondent

A senior journalist working for a rival to the News of the World was alleged to be involved in directing a private investigator to hack into the voicemails of Milly Dowler, a court at the Old Bailey has heard.

The accusation was made by Glenn Mulcaire, who has pleaded guilty to phone hacking and will be sentenced later this week. Gavin Millar QC, acting for Mulcaire, told a mitigation hearing that Greg Miskiw, a former NOTW news editor, along with the journalist from a competitor newspaper, had jointly “tasked” the investigator to hack the murdered schoolgirl’s phone.

Although Scotland Yard had already re-opened its phone hacking investigation into the criminal culture inside the News International title, the expose of the Dowler hacking in June 2011 led to the closure of the NOTW and the ordering of the Leveson Inquiry.

Last week the former NOTW editor Andy Coulson was found guilty of hacking. Rebekah Brooks, the former NI chief executive, and Stuart Kuttner, the former managing editor of the NOTW, were both acquitted of being involved in a hacking conspiracy. Mrs Brooks was also found not guilty on all other charges against her.

Mr Kuttner was alleged by counsel representing Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup, two former NOTW journalists who have pleaded guilty to involvement in a conspiracy to hack, as “knowing” and “approving” of the regular use of Mulcaire.

Thurlbeck’s barrister, Hugh Davies QC, also named Coulson, an in-house NI lawyer and another senior journalist on the NOTW as being part of an “approved corporate policy” to introduce the practice of hacking. Legal restrictions prevent them being named.

Mr Davies told the judge, Mr Justice Saunders, that  the large NOTW team involved in the Dowler investigation were “led and directed” by Coulson and Mr Kuttner. He also criticised an explanation offered by Mulcaire that when he hacked the schoolgirl’s phone he believed he was doing so with the authority of the police, had only wanted to find the missing schoolgirl, and did not expect a story to be published. Mr Davies said this was “intrinsically ridiculous”.

Billie Piper stars as a tabloid news editor in a satirical play inspired by the phone- hacking scandal which opened at the National Theatre last night Billie Piper stars as a tabloid news editor in a satirical play inspired by the phone- hacking scandal which opened at the National Theatre last night

Charles Bott QC, representing Weatherup, said no one at the trial had “heard the voice of James Weatherup”. Mr Bott said Weatherup had instructed Mulcaire because phone hacking was the “standard policy of the NOTW”.

Weatherup, he said, had continuously argued against the use of Mulcaire, but this had been effectively over-ruled by Coulson, Mr Kuttner, and the senior journalist who cannot be named. Mr Boot said it was incorrect that phone hacking at NI should be regarded as carried out by a “small clique” of news editors.

At the beginning of the mitigation hearing, five NOTW journalists and Mulcaire sat next to each other in the dock in court 12. Dan Evans, the former NOTW feature writer, who gave evidence during the eight-month trial and who pleaded guilty to hacking before the trial started, was allowed to leave early as he will be sentenced in a separate hearing next month.

At the beginning of the hearing Coulson was told that he will face a retrial on two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. He will be tried alongside the former NOTW royal editor, Clive Goodman.

Both are accused of paying police officers for internal phone directories of the royal household.

Last week, although the jury found Coulson guilty of hacking, they could not reach a majority verdict on the charges relating to the royal directories against the former Number 10 spin doctor and Goodman.

Sentencing is expected on Friday.

Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
food + drinkMeat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin