Hacking trial: 'We'd be jailed' - former NOTW royal editor Clive Goodman warned managing editor Stuart Kuttner over cash payments to sources, jury told

 

Political Correspondent

The former royal editor of the News of the World warned a senior executive on the Murdoch-owned paper “We could all end up in jail” if payments to his police sources were traced, the Old Bailey has heard.

Clive Goodman, the specialist royal reporter who was jailed in 2007 on hacking-related charges, delivered the alert in an email to Beverley Stokes, the personal assistant of the former  managing editor Stuart Kuttner.

Mr Goodman, alleged to be discussing contacts that could only be paid in cash, described two recipients who were “in uniform”, but added they were untraceable. A further source, the court heard, worked for a rival national newspaper.

Along with seven other defendants in the trial facing differing hacking-related charges, Mr Goodman is charged with making illegal payments to public officials which he denies. Mr Kuttner denies the phone hacking charges against him. All other charges are denied by all of the defendants legal insert

The jury was told that in an email exchange with Mrs Stokes in 2005, Mr Goodman was told Mr Kuttner wanted to talk to him about cash payments to a contributor.

Mr Goodman subsequently said he had written to Mr Kuttner saying there were only three sources he paid in cash. The warning on a potential jail sentence followed. The email read: “Two are in uniform and we - them, you, me, the editor would all end up in jail if anyone traced their payments. They've had Special Branch crawling all over them since we ran a five-paragraph story about an Operation Trident arrest at Clarence House.”

The correspondence continues :“Thanks to the way we pay them, they're untraceable.

".... The third is an executive at another newspaper who is also taking on potentially life-altering risks for us and will not accept any other form of payment.”

The jury heard that in addition to the email to Mr Kuttner, Mr Goodman discussed the issue of how payments were to be made with Ms Stokes.

Another further message on January 2006 referred to a contributor the jury has been told was a police officer. Mr Goodman says he “is a cash only contributor because of his extremely sensitive job... curtains for him and us”.

The court was also shown evidence that payments by NOTW to the specialist private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, had been authorised by Mr Kuttner's office.

Mulcaire, jailed alongside Mr Goodman in 2007, pleaded guilty to further hacking-relating offences earlier in the trial's progress.

In one message from Mr Goodman in April 2006 to Mrs Stokes,  payments are discussed for a  “Mr Alexander” - said to be  codename for Mulcaire.

He told Mrs Stokes that Mr Alexander was “the most important in terms of the contact” and he was hoping to get a story about Prince Harry from him.

The email read: “I'm relying heavily on him to work his magic over Harry's passing-out party.”

Subsequently told that the payments were going through, Mr Goodman thanked  Mr Kuttner's PA, telling her: “Fantastic. I won't be found in the Thames wearing concrete wellies tonight.”

In another email to the PA he wrote: “As long as they're useful, I don't ask many questions about their Sunday school records,” the court heard.

The trial continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee