Mulcaire may have hacked into phone of Dowler liaison officer

Met investigates after detective's number is found in papers seized from investigator's home

Scotland Yard is investigating evidence that a detective who acted as a liaison officer between the family of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and Surrey Police was targeted by the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

The name and mobile phone number of the detective constable, who would have been privy to the private anguish of the Dowler family, was found in the 11,000 pages of evidence seized from Mulcaire's home. The investigator, right, obtained voicemail PINs and eavesdropped on phone messages on behalf of the News of the World.

The disclosure last summer that the NOTW had intercepted and deleted Milly's voicemails after her abduction in March 2002 forced the closure of the 168-year-old Sunday paper.

During their evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards, Milly's parents, Sally and Bob Dowler, told how other events around the time of their daughter's disappearance, including the publication by the NOTW of photographs of them on an unannounced walk to retrace Milly's footsteps, had raised their suspicions of interference with voicemails.

Last October, a lawyer for Surrey Police told the inquiry that it was "very likely" that an unspecified number of its officers involved in the hunt for Milly "were themselves victims of hacking" in 2002. But until now it had not been known that a police officer in such a pivotal role was among those whose details were obtained by Mulcaire.

Operation Weeting, the Yard's investigation into phone hacking, is understood to be examining whether the presence of the detective's information on the files of Mulcaire, jailed in 2007 for phone hacking, can be translated into evidence that her voicemails were also listened to.

In a statement, Surrey Police said last night: "Inquiries are ongoing and it would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment at this time."

It is likely that voicemails left for the detective constable working with the Dowlers contained particularly sensitive material. Mulcaire, who was arrested last month on suspicion of hacking voicemails and perverting the course of justice, denied that he had ever deleted messages from Milly's phone and "had no reason to do so".

His solicitor yesterday said, "You are aware that Glenn has been arrested in connection with Dowler so [we] cannot comment".

News International declined to comment yesterday. Scotland Yard said it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition