'NOTW' played Milly Dowler’s messages to Surrey police 11 years ago

A guest at a Dubai hotel said Rebekah Brooks ‘left a gathering to discuss a missing Surrey schoolgirl’

Surrey Police were informed by the News of the World 11 years ago that the newspaper held voicemails taken from the mobile phone of the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler and played a recording of the messages to officers involved in the 2002 hunt to find her, the Old Bailey heard.

A statement was read to the jury at the hacking trial by one of the officers involved in Operation Ruby, the Surrey Police investigation into the disappearance of the schoolgirl.  Detective Sergeant Kevin McEntee claimed the paper’s managing editor, Stuart Kuttner, had told him the now-shuttered Murdoch tabloid had specific information on the Dowler case, held voicemails, and had obtained her number and PIN access codes from “school friends”.

The jury heard that Mr Kuttner, an executive at the Sunday tabloid for 22 years, told the Surrey force that Milly had received a call on her phone from a job agency in Telford about interviews and a potential job at a computer factory. The NOTW executive did not hide details about where the information had come from. The police questioned the importance of the Telford voicemail and said it may have come from a hoaxer as Milly was not registered with the Midlands agency.

The force’s press officer, Sarah McGregor, told the jury that she had explained to journalists on the NOTW that Milly’s phone number may have been called accidentally and that the agency’s message had been for someone called “Nana” not “Amanda” which was Milly’s full name.

But Ricky Sutton, a NOTW reporter working on the Dowler story insisted to Surrey police the paper’s information was “a fact” and it was “absolutely 100 per cent certain” the schoolgirl had travelled north to the Midlands.

Missing since March 2002, Milly’s body was discovered in September the same year.

Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International, and seven others, including Mr Kuttner, deny various charges relating to phone hacking.

A guest at the Dubai hotel where Mrs Brooks was on holiday during the week the NOTW’s published a story based on the schoolgirl’s voicemails, told the court she left a drinks gathering telling her then partner, the EastEnders actor Ross Kemp, that she needed to have a phone conversation about “a missing Surrey schoolgirl”.

William Hennessy, a regional director, said he met up with Mrs Brooks and Mr Kemp on three occasions at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai because his holiday friend Dean Keyworth was also a friend of Mrs Brooks’s deputy at the NOTW, Andy Coulson, who was in London editing the paper. The meetings allegedly took place on the Friday and Saturday before the Dowler story was published on 14 April 2002.

NOTW hacked into Milly Dowler's voicemail NOTW hacked into Milly Dowler's voicemail

Mr Hennessy was asked by Mark Bryant-Heron, for the prosecution, if he recalled how Mr Kemp reacted when Mrs Brooks “left the company”.

The witness replied: “Yes, he remonstrated a bit and said ‘You are always working’.”

Mr Bryant-Heron asked Mr Hennessy how Mrs Brooks responded. He replied: “She said something to do with a missing Surrey schoolgirl and it was important.”

Mr Hennessy told the court that during the time he spent in Mrs Brooks’s company “she seemed to spend a lot of time on the phone”.

Questioned by Jonathan Laidlaw QC, representing Mrs Brooks, Mr Hennessy was told that his client had no recollection of spending time with the witness. “Why should she?” he replied. Mr Laidlaw suggested that Mrs Brooks would never have spoken of Milly Dowler as a “missing Surrey schoolgirl”. Mr Hennessy said: “I heard it very clearly I can assure you.”

The trial continues.

Stuart Kuttner, the former managing editor of ‘The News of the World’ (Reuters) Stuart Kuttner, the former managing editor of ‘The News of the World’ (Reuters)  

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
Sport
Mario Balotelli (left) trudges off at half-time last night, to be substituted during the interval
football
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?