Tottenham Hotspur’s spies targeted Olympic Park boss Dionne Knight’s daughter

 

Investigations Reporter

The school-age daughter of an Olympic official was targeted by rogue private investigators working for Tottenham Hotspur as the football club bid to occupy the new stadium after the 2012 Games.

Lee Stewart obtained the girl’s name, birth certificate, date of birth and details of her school during an investigation into Dionne Knight, the Olympic Park Legacy Company project director.

The Sunday Times published an inaccurate article in July 2011 that alleged Ms Knight was receiving “secret” payments from her lover Ian Tompkins, an executive at West Ham United football club – Tottenham’s rival bidder for the stadium.

The Olympic quango had declared West Ham its preferred bidder for the stadium five months earlier.

The targeting of Ms Knight’s daughter emerged at Southwark Crown Court as Mr Stewart and two other private investigators were fined for unlawfully obtaining confidential information on Olympics officials and West Ham executives, including vice-chair  Karren Brady who stars in the BBC show The Apprentice.

Howard Hill, 59, a former partner at accountancy firm PKF – which was hired by Tottenham Hotspur to examine the bid process – was fined £100,000, Mr Stewart, 40, was ordered to pay £13,250 and Richard Forrest, 31, was fined £10,000.

There is no suggestion Tottenham knew of or commissioned the illegal activity.

Prosecutor Mark Dennis QC told the court that a private investigator had “blagged” Ms Brady’s mobile phone bills from Vodafone.

He said a man had called the telecoms giant three times in February 2011 claiming he had authority to access the data.

Copies of Ms Brady’s bills from December 2010 to February 2011 were then sent to a bogus email beginning with westhamunited151, which were then passed on to Mr Hill.

West Ham joint chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan were among other people who became “the focus of attention for this activity”, Mr Dennis said. The mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales and several prominent figures in the OPLC were also targeted.

Judge Alistair McCreath, Recorder of Westminster, said Mr Hill “had full control over this project” and had “engaged others to do your dirty work for you” for financial gain.

He said: “By various devious strategies you accessed emails, phone records, bank records and in one case details of where the child of one of your victims went to school.

“The birth certificate of that child was obtained. Surveillance was carried out. Credit reports were obtained.”

All three pleaded guilty to one charge of obtaining personal data contrary to Section 55 Data Protection Act 1998.

The men were arrested in November 2011 after Baroness Ford, chair of the OPLC, claimed her board had been “under surveillance” by Spurs during the bidding process.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Sport
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
boxing
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
News
Florence Welch from Florence + the Machine
people
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
Arts and Entertainment
film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living