Proceedings began today with the next prosecution witness, the former Royal editor of the News of the World, Clive Goodman. Goodman told the court that he had known the accused as a colleague and while they had attended each others weddings they were not close friends.
The witness told the court that he had became Royal editor of the NotW while Rebekah Brooks was the editor and retained that role when Andy Coulson succeeded her in January 2003. Coulson, he told the court, had a background in show-business reporting with The Sun and had little experience of news or political reporting when he took over.
Goodman told the court that the defendant was always interested in where a story came from, although journalists themselves were secretive about their sources and were expected to “generate their own material.” What stories were published would be discussed at conferences, he continued, but was ultimately the decision of the editor the court was told. The witness told the court that it was common practice at the NotW to pay people who brought in stories, “Everyone at the paper was paid so why wouldn’t the sources be?” he said. He also noted that the paper contained advertisements informing readers that they would be paid for any stories that were published.
The witness told the court that when Coulson took over as editor the atmosphere at the newspaper changed becoming “fractious” and there were “ridiculous levels of competition between reporters. He said that news editor Ian Edmondson was “aggressive” and once told him “”if it’s not a big story it’s the big issue Clive,” implying he was about to lose his job. He told court Coulson became “very, very angry” when he said he could not cover Royal tour due to family issues and gave him a “scorching dressing down,” “I couldn’t really win,” he added.
Goodman then told the court he knew the name Glenn Mulcaire who was a contact of Greg Miskiw, and started working with him directly in 2005. “Greg liked to run Glenn,” he said. When Miskiw left the newspaper the news editor, Ian Edmondson, took over as his contact. Goodman said that at first he thought Mulcaire was an “inquiry agent” who could “crack stories very quickly,” but had no idea how he did it. In early 2000 however Goodman said he was approached by Greg Miskiw who asked who were the “key people” close to Princes William and Harry. Later, in 2005 he was given the details on how to listen to voicemails himself and was given mobile and PIN numbers to allow him to do so.
Court then took a short break
When the jury returned the Advocate Depute, Richard Goddard, asked the witness whose budget was used to pay phone-hacker Glenn Mulcaire, he replied that he was paid via the news-desk budget and his main point of contact was the news editor Ian Edmondson. In October 2005, he continued, he spoke directly to Mulcaire who complained that he was getting less money from the news-desk and wanted to earn more money. Goodman testified that Mulcaire asked for £500 a week to access voicemails of people connected with the royal family. The witness said he supplied the names and Mulcaire began accessing the numbers.
Goodman then told the court that he did not have a budget to pay Mulcaire and did not wish to tell Ian Edmondson about the arrangement as he “would not have taken kindly to him poaching a piece of his property.” The witness said he met Andy Coulson to have Mulcaire’s £500 pw paid from the editorial budget which he agreed to. Asked how Coulson reacted Goodman said “he was worried about the cost.” There was, he told the court, no discussion of privacy or legal issues, “He was just interested in making it run smoothly,” the witness told the jury.
Goodman then told the court that after a month the royal voicemail interception “project” was reviewed and extended for another month. Thereafter the £500 per week retainer was removed and the then editor decided only to pay the phone-hacker “by results.” The jury were then shown a series of News International payment request forms for £500 in cash to be paid to “Alexander.” The payments were approved by then NotW managing editor Stuart Kuttner Goodman told the court and he would then meet Mulcaire and give him the cash.
Goodman testified that he personally showed Coulson a transcript of a voicemail left by Prince Harry on the phone of royal aide asking for help with an essay he had to complete for Sandhurst military college. The court shown email from Goodman to Coulson saying he has “inf” on Harry “scammed” from a Royal aide, Helen Asprey and the witness agreed he had come by the information via hacking Asprey’s voicemail.
Court then rose for lunch