Another murder case linked to illegal phone hacking

By Cahal Milmo,Sarah Morrison@S_R_Morrison
Saturday 22 October 2011 21:36

The investigation into the death of Essex teenager Danielle Jones could be re-examined after the inquiry into the voicemail hacking scandal found that mobile phones linked to her may have been targeted by a private investigator working for the News of the World.

Stuart Campbell, the uncle of the 15-year-old schoolgirl whose body was never found after her disappearance in June 2001, was convicted of her murder in 2002 after a trial in which prosecutors relied on forensic evidence relating to text messages sent from Danielle's phone.

Scotland Yard is now looking for evidence of mobile phone hacking related to every high-profile murder and abduction of a child since 2001 following the disclosure this week that private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and the NOTW hacked into the phone of Milly Dowler, allegedly deleting voicemails which had been left for her and creating the false impression that she was still alive. Police feared the deleted messages may have contained important evidence about the disappearance of the Surrey teenager in March 2002.

The parents of Holly Chapman and Jessica Wells, the schoolgirls murdered in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in August 2002, have also been told their voicemails may have been accessed.

Chris Bryant, a Labour MP who has been a prominent campaigner on the hacking scandal, told the Commons yesterday that evidence suggesting Danielle's phone and others linked to her were targeted by Mulcaire had been discovered by Operation Weeting, the inquiry into phone hacking. Police sources confirmed details of the phones had been found and said the information was being assessed for potential impact on the original murder investigation.

The revelation came as relatives of victims of the 7/7 bombings spoke of their distress at being told that their details had also been found in Mulcaire's documentation. Three people – the parents of two victims and one emergency services worker – have been told they may have been targeted by the NOTW.

Graham Foulkes, who lost his son David in the attacks, was told information including his mobile and ex-directory landline numbers had been found. He said: "My wife and I were kind of all over the place, we were chatting to friends on the phone, in a very personal and deeply emotional context – and the thought that somebody may have been listening to that just looking for a cheap headline is just horrendous."

Sean Cassidy, whose son Ciaran died in the explosion on a Piccadilly line train, said his mobile phone number and home address had been obtained by Mulcaire. "I am angry," he said. "I don't mind as much when they hack rich people or celebrities who can fight it out in the courts, but why prey on innocent people like us? It is just not on."

In a further development, Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the parents of Madeleine McCann said he had been interviewed by detectives following evidence of attempts to obtain details about his mobile phone in 2008.

Mr Mitchell, who has represented Kate and Gerry McCann since the disappearance of their daughter in 2007, said he had been alerted to "suspicious activity" on his Vodafone account. He said there was no evidence he had been hacked or that the phones of the McCanns had been accessed.

See no evil? The hacking cases of which Rebekah Brooks denies knowledge

The Editor: Rebekah Brooks

The current chief executive of News International, then Rebekah Wade, was editor of the News of the World from May 2000 to January 2003. She insists that she knew nothing of any phone hacking at the time.

The investigator: Glenn Mulcaire

The private investigator who was jailed in 2007 for hacking voicemail messages on behalf of the News of the World's royal editor, Clive Goodman, was being paid to perform investigations for the paper from April 2000.

The deputy editor: Andy Coulson

The future Downing Street communications chief served as Brooks's deputy before taking over from her in January 2003. His time as editor, which ended in January 2007, seems to have been the high-water mark of the phone-hacking scandal, although he has alway denied any knowledge of the practice.

Victims who may have been hacked during Brooks's editorship

The Wells and Chapman families

The parents of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, the schoolgirls murdered in Soham in August 2002, have been told they may have been targeted by the NOTW. Jessica had a mobile phone at the time of her disappearance, although no evidence has come to light suggesting that it was hacked.

Brian Paddick

The former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is alleged to have had his phone details collected as early as 2002.

Milly Dowler

The missing schoolgirl's phone, along with those of her parents Bob and Sally, is alleged to have been hacked, apparently by Glenn Mulcaire, after the 13-year-old's disappearance in March 2002. Some of the messages may have been deleted. Rebekah Brooks claims to have been on holiday at the time.

Danielle Jones

The phone of the 15-year-old schoolgirl, who disappeared in June 2001, is alleged to have been targeted by the NOTW. Her uncle, Stuart Campbell, was convicted of her murder after a trial in which forensic mobile phone evidence played an important role

Colin Stagg

The man wrongly accused of the murder of Rachel Nickell has been told he may have been targeted by the NOTW in 2000.

Other victims and alleged victims 2003-2007

Ninety-one people had their voicemail PINs logged by Glenn Mulcaire. But nearly 4,332 names or partial names were found on his records, of which at least 450 may have a realistic chance of successfully claiming damages from the NOTW. They include...

Sienna Miller (case settled for £100,000 in June); Jude Law (suing NOTW for damages); Max Clifford (case settled for a reported £1m in 2010); Elle Macpherson (named in original Glenn Mulcaire hacking case in 2007); Hugh Grant; Leslie Ash (suing NOTW with her husband and family); Steve Coogan (suing NOTW); Wayne Rooney; Sky Andrew (football agent suing NOTW); Paul Gascoigne (suing NOTW); Andy Gray (settled his case this month for £20,000); Kieren Fallon (suing NOTW); Gordon Taylor (chief executive of Professional Footballers Association – case settled for a reported £700,000); Chris Bryant MP (suing NOTW); Lord Prescott (suing NOTW); Simon Hughes MP, Lib Dem deputy leader; Tessa Jowell, former cabinet minister (suing NOTW); Tommy Sheridan, disgraced former MSP (suing NOTW); David Blunkett, former home secretary; Prince William and Prince Harry (named in original Mulcaire hacking case); Paddy Harverson (Clarence House press chief, named in original case); Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (William and Harry's private secretary, named in original case); James Hewitt (suing NOTW); Dennis Rice, former investigations editor at the Mail on Sunday (suing NOTW) and six other unnamed Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday journalists. Other possible victims include relatives of 7/7 victims, such as Graham Foulkes and Sean Cassidy. Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the parents of Madeleine McCann, has been interviewed by Operation Weeting about attempts to access information about his phone in 2008, although it has not been confirmed that he was targeted by the NOTW.