HMA vs Andy Coulson, day 4 afternoon

Proceedings resumed after lunch with the advocate depute, Richard Goddard completing his examination of the former royal editor of the News of the World, Clive Goodman. The court was again shown an email from him to Andy Coulson in which Goodman requests £1000 in cash to pay “one of our palace cops” for a royal telephone directory. “There was no palace cop,” Goodman said telling the court the book came from a “journalistic source.”

The prosecution examination of Clive Goodman then ended and defence counsel Murdo MacLeod then rose to cross-examine. He began by having the witness confirm that journalists were “protective about their sources,” and would often refer to them by false names so as to conceal their identity. The defence advocate then asked Goodman about his daily routine and the witness confirmed he would read the other papers in the morning and then phone round his contacts. The jury were then shown organisational charts and a floor plan of the News of the World from 2006, including one room labelled the “secret office.”

The defence counsel then asked Goodman about the use of “investigative agents” by newspapers which the witness said he thought were used to trace people “but I’m no expert.” The witness confirmed that when Coulson was deputy editor at the NotW they both had a good relationship and helped each other out with stories. The court was then shown an email from Coulson which defence counsel characterised as “supportive.” Goodman replied “he had just sacked me as a columnist.”

Counsel then showed the court a Goodman article which he suggested was “lifted from the Observer” and asks why he paid source £300 for it. Goodman said the payment to the source was for spotting the piece adding “”I didn’t read it, no-one read it.” Another payment receipt for £650 was then displayed on the court screens which was, MacLeod said, was for a story about singer Madonna praising anti-war celebrity Michael Moore. This, the defence advocate said, was taken from a US magazine called “W.” “I didn’t see it,” Goodman replied.

Counsel then asked Goodman how the court could know he had passed the money he claimed on to his source? “Because I told you I did,” the witness said. The court was then shown another Goodman piece, about actress Una Thurman, which, MacLeod suggested, had already appeared in the Sun and in Daily Mirror, “why did Mr Hall get £250?” counsel asked, “because we agreed to,” the witness replied confirming that he did not usually supply receipts.

The court was then shown a document showing research that had been done on the names and addresses of the people Goodman had said he had paid cash to. However at this point the Crown asked if the jury could leave the court while a legal matter was discussed.

When the jury returned Goodman was asked how many cash payments he made a year, he said he could not recall but agreed it may have been in the “tens of thousands.” The jury was then shown a News International email in which a claim for a cash payment by Goodman is called “utterly ridiculous,” as the story had already appeared in the Sunday People. “It’s an ordinary newspaper disagreement,” the witness replied.

Court was shown an email to Goodman from Andy Coulson in which a website “holy moly” accusing him of “nicking stories from them,” “there is not much journalism going on her” defence counsel suggested. The witness said that he was running a gossip column and he saw nothing wrong with taking stories from other sources “I was doing my job to the best of my ability.”

Goodman was then asked when he started phone-hacking, “a long time ago, 2003/2004” he replied. Phone-hacking “was a pretty easy thing to do” the defence suggested to which the defendant agreed adding that “a lot of people in the media,” knew about it. Defence counsel then asked the witness about his suggesting that “Jamie Oliver recipes” were read out at editorial conferences joking “you are cooking the evidence.” MacLeod suggested. Goodman was known as the “eternal flame” as he “never went out” (of the office) The witness said he had only heard that used after he had left the paper.

Court then rose for the day

Mr Coulson denies the charges against him, the trial continues.