Brooks ‘properly terrfied’ before police interview

Tony Blair with former News International Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks
Tony Blair with former News International Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks
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Rebekah Brooks texted Tony Blair that she was “feeling properly terrified” the day before a police interview, the hacking trial heard yesterday.

The ex-News International chief executive engaged in a series of texts with the former prime minister in the days leading up to her arrest on July 17, 2011.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC read out the texts which were about Brooks’ forthcoming appearance in Parliament.

At 7.34am on July 16, Brooks told Mr Blair she had an interview with police the next day. She texted: “Feeling properly terrified! The police are behaving so badly.”

Mr Blair replied: “Everyone panics in these situations” and later: “I’m no use on police stuff but call me after that because I may be some help on Commons.”

The text exchange started on July 10. Mr Blair told Brooks he was in the Middle East, saying: “I’m really sorry about it all. Call me if you need to. Tx”.

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard how Mr Blair offered in a phone call to be an unofficial adviser, telling Brooks: “It will pass. Tough up.”

Then on July 16, Mr Blair texted: “If you’re still going to Parliament you should call me. I have experience of these things! Tx”. Brooks replied: “Definitely. Depends on the police interview first. I have Stephen Parkinson here today. I have never met him but people say he is good.”

Brooks’s evidence was nothing but a “carefully presented script”, prosecutor Mr Edis claimed.

As he neared the conclusion of his cross examination, Mr Edis told her she was running her world “at the top of the tree”. He said nothing happened which she did not want to happen while she was “the boss”, controlling staff, and even her husband Charlie.

Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire, denies conspiring to hack phones, conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.