There were no secret plans to remove boxes of Rebekah Brooks’ notebooks from News International’s archive and prevent them from falling into the hands of police investigating wrong-doing inside the News of the World, a jury at the Old Bailey has heard.
Cheryl Carter, the former PA to Mrs Brooks during 15 years of her career at Rupert Murdoch’s UK print division, told the hacking trial that Mrs Brooks’ offer in 2011 to pay for her family’s flights to Australia after the closure of the NOTW, was not a “reward” for her role in disposing of boxes that the prosecution have alleged contained notebooks belonging to the former chief executive of NI.
Opening her defence, Mrs Carter, 49, said the boxes removed from NI’s archive in Enfield in July 2011 contained mostly her belongings.
She said when the boxes were initially stored in 2009, after Mrs Brooks’ promotion, she had not asked for permission.
Her counsel, Trevor Burke QC, said Mrs Carter and Mrs Brooks were “as close as sisters. They adore each other”. He added “She [Carter] will not say a bad word about her.”
Both women deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice by removing seven boxes – that have never been recovered – from the NI archive, and being aware there was a police investigation at the time.
Earlier the court was told that evidence from the former NOTW royal editor, Clive Goodman, would be “parked - for the time being” because of his ill-health.
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