Proceedings continued today with further defence cross-examination of former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman. In his evidence in chief the former reporter told the jury that Andy Coulson had been fully aware that he had been hacking the phones of people associated with the royal family.
Murdo Macleod QC, who represents Mr Coulson began by asking the witness about his relationship with his client. Goodman said that when Coulson was deputy editor they got on well but by 2005 they were “cool.” The jury was then 2005 Goodman email to his sister in which he says: “Do not want to be in all the same gang as those idiots Weatherup and Edmondson.” The witness said he did not respect the two news editors as he disagreed with how they were running the news-desk. Defence counsel then suggested Goodman was “under-performing” as a journalist by 2005 and showed the jury an email from Coulson complaining about his stories lacking substance and that his column was “way off the pace.”
In another email shown to the court a News International executive says Goodman is paying to many contacts in cash. Suggests he “get out more” and adds exec suggests Goodman “bring in stories that are free, an old fashioned newspaper idea I know.” In Goodman’s reply he says he needs to pay his sources in cash as “Any paper trail that leads to them would put, you me and the editor in jail.”
The court was then shown a 2005 Goodman email to his sister about the NI executive who was complaining about payments which said in part “I feel like peeling his face right off his skull.” The witness said he was angry and was using his sister as a “safety valve.” In an email from then news editor shown to the court then news editor Ian Edmondson claimed that Goodman had rejected as untrue the story that Prince Charles would marry Camilla Parker-Bowles and that “Clive’s attitude is poor and verges on arrogant.” The defendant said this was untrue and he had tried, but could not, verify the Prince Charles story so could not publish it.
Goodman then told defence counsel “I have a real problem on why you are asking me these questions?” leading to Judge Burns remarking that he would intervene if he thought the questions being asked are irrelevant. Defence then suggested Goodman was “under pressure” to produce stories and he had contacted phone-hacker Glenn Mulcaire. The court was then shown the contract between NotW and Mulcaire which described his role as: “research and information assignments.” Under the terms of the agreement Mulcaire was to be paid £2,019 a week by the NotW (£104,988 per annum) and agreed not to work for any other news organisation.
The witness told the court that Mulcaire was “hungry for money” and insisted that he was the one who made the initial approach. “It must have had a value as Andy agreed to it,” he told the court. “You were an accomplished phone-hacker yourself by this time,” the defence advocate suggested, “I’d done some” Goodman replied noting he had already intercepted voicemails from Royal aides such as Helen Asbury and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.” MacLeod then suggested that if Goodman had told Coulson he knew how to hack phones he would have refused to pay Mulcaire? “You’d have to ask your client about that,” the witness replied. Macleod then put it to Goodman on Coulson that “he might simply have said no?” “But he didn’t “the witness replied.
Goodman then told the court that the value of phone-hacking was that you could discover: “Who was friends with who, who listened to who, who went to each others houses.” While in another email it is described as a “safe, productive and cost-effective.” The witness also told the court that that hacker Glenn Mulcaire asked him to contact, then Sun editor, Rebekah Brooks on his behalf. However he decided not to go ahead as it would have been “too complicated.”
Goodman then told the court that he now he deeply regrets ever hacking phones, “I’d dearly love to end it and move on, but no-one seems to let me, I wish it had never happened.” Defence counsel then displayed the total of known Goodman royal hacks which included 155 of Kate Middleton, 35 of Prince William and 9 of Prince Harry. Records also showed that Goodman hacked Kate Middleton on Christmas day 2005. He told the court he did so as he was hoping William had left a message.
Goodman was then asked if he was “someone who bears grudges,” or if he had a “grudge against Andy Coulson, “Now? No” he replied. The court was then shown a 2005 email from Goodman to his sister in which he says of Coulson “I almost forgot the ” A “knife-hand-throat strike that would have pushed his larynx out of his neck.” The witness said this was “exaggeration” and merely colourful language.
The defence then challenged Goodman on a draft of a novel he had written in prison which was a fictionalised account of phone-hacking. “You were not remorseful you were trying to exploit the situation.” The witness said he had never submitted the manuscript to a publisher and claimed that the defendant, Andy Coulson, had “written a film treatment of his life.” Asked what his source for this was Goodman refused to say.
The defence then rested and the Crown rose to re-examine the witness. Goodman told the jury he had not held a “seven year grudge against Coulson” and said giving evidence against him was “a matter of bitter regret.” The witness said that he took legal advice to see if he could refuse to testify against his former boss, however he was told he was required to under Scottish law. “I would much rather be at home with my family getting on with my life and not having to relive this nightmare over and over again,” he told the jury.
Court then rose for lunch