Mother of 7/7 bomb victim is told her phone was hacked

The key cases against News International include those of football agent Sky Andrews and designer Kelly Hoppen

A mother who lost her son in the 7/7 bomb attacks in London and spent eight days trying to find out if he was alive or dead by leaving more than 100 worried messages, has been told her phone was targeted by the News of the World hacker Glenn Mulcaire – and will now be one of the lead cases in legal action against the newspaper's publisher.

Sheila Henry's 26-year-old son, Christian Small, was on his way to work in central London on the Piccadilly line when the terrorists struck. She never saw him again; he was killed in the Russell Square Tube bombing.

It was confirmed yesterday that police investigating the illegal use of telephone intercepts by the NOTW found her number and that of her son among the lengthy list kept by Mulcaire, the convicted private investigator who accessed phone message details for the now defunct newspaper.

In a preliminary hearing at the High Court, Mr Justice Vos, the judge managing the civil litigation against News International's (NI) subsidiary, News Group Newspapers (NGN), added Ms Henry to the cross-section of five other test cases that will determine the scale of damages settlements for other alleged victims of phone hacking.

The key cases against News International include those of the football agent Sky Andrew, the interior designer Kelly Hoppen, Labour MP Chris Bryant and former England football star Paul Gascoigne.

The NOTW only mentioned Mr Small briefly in an article on the July 2005 bombings, describing him as "missing" in a "gallery of despair".

However it was alleged that just before the sixth anniversary of the attacks, the Metropolitan Police team that is investigating Mulcaire and the NOTW, had discovered details of 7/7 victims' families being hacked. During the High Court hearing, NI's barrister, Michael Silverleaf QC, revealed that two new caches of documents had recently been discovered which he said "the current management were unaware of".

NGN was ordered during the summer to search its internal email system for further evidence that mobile phones belonging to a list of public figures had been targeted by the NOTW.

Mr Justice Vos described the new material as "significant" and said he believed there was "lots more to come".

On top of the revelations this summer that the phone of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had been hacked by the NOTW, the allegations that the paper had focused on 9/11 victims' families, were seen as emotional tipping points that led NI to close the title. The family grief surrounding the death of Christian Small and its potential impact as part of a key test case will be seen as equally difficult for NGN.

On the day he was killed, Christian's sister, Tameka, and friends, began pinning posters of him around London hoping he would be found. Documents presented to the court paint a picture of a tortured mother leaving message after message on her son's phone.

Following the police's re-examination of Mulcaire's notebooks in January this year, it is understood that Ms Small was notified that numbers linked to her family were found in the private detective's files.

Mr Justice Vos gave NGN until 30 September to comply with an earlier court order requiring it to disclose any evidence it held relating to phone-hacking claims.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
News
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own