Sun editor ‘did not routinely make notes’

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Rebekah Brooks did not routinely use notepads during her time as editor of The Sun, the hacking trial has heard.

Brooks’s long-serving personal assistant Cheryl Carter is accused of removing her boss’s notebooks which had been archived in 2009 when she moved to “deep carpet world” as chief executive of News International.

After she was arrested, Carter told police most of the 30 notebooks in the seven boxes were hers from her time as beauty editor and she thought nothing was amiss in tearing up and recycling her belongings in July 2011 – at the height of the police investigation into hacking at News International.

Brooks’s other PA Deborah Keegan told the Old Bailey that her boss would only occasionally scribble two lines in a pad and then discard it when she worked at The Sun.

Holding up a small reporter’s pad and an A4 notebook, Brooks’s lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw QC asked her: “Mrs Brooks was neither in the habit of using one of these things or one of these things as any sort of diary of events?”

Mrs Keegan replied: “Not regularly, no.”

She used a big pad to make lists of things to do and sketch out page layout ideas, but the pages were ripped out daily and thrown away once they were of no more use, she said.

It was only after she went to “deep carpet world”, as Mr Laidlaw described it, as chief executive that Brooks took up James Murdoch’s advice to keep a leather-covered pad.

Former News of the World and Sun editor Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire, and Carter, 49, of Chelmsford, Essex, deny a charge of perverting the course of justice by removing potential evidence which could have been inspected by police.