Goodman ‘open and honest’ over phone hacking

Police kept the extent of hacking at the News of the World out of the public eye out of “discretion” for victims which included members of the Royal Family, jurors heard yesterday.

Former NotW royal editor Clive Goodman repeated that he had always been “open and honest” about his activities, despite being confronted with evidence on Wednesday that he repeatedly hacked Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Compared with a NotW colleague, he said he was just a “spear carrier” rather than the “five act opera” of hacking.

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He told the Old Bailey that, at the time he was caught, “there was not a single significant story broken at the NotW in the last couple of years” that the colleague, who cannot be named, had not got from tampering with phones.

Goodman, 56, was dismissed in 2007 after he pleaded guilty and was jailed for hacking royal aides with private detective Glenn Mulcaire.

Under questioning by former NotW editor Andy Coulson’s lawyer, he denied staying quiet about the extent of his hacking when he appealed against his sacking.

He said: “The reason these things did not come into the public domain before was the police and CPS in 2006/07 decided they were not going to publish things to protect the discretion of the victims.

“The only reason they came up now is they were not out there in the public domain at the time.”

Goodman is on trial with Coulson for conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

Coulson, ex-NotW editor Rebekah Brooks and former managing editor Stuart Kuttner are accused of conspiring to hack phones. All seven defendants deny the charges against them.

Goodman hacked Kate Middleton’s phone and listened to a message from Prince William telling her about being ambushed and shot with blanks on a night exercise at Aldershot, the court heard.

Mr Langdale pointed out the voicemail from the prince telling his then girlfriend about the incident in January 2006.

The lawyer said: “Who hacked Kate Middleton’s phone to get that message?”

Goodman replied: “It may have been me, it may have been Glenn Mulcaire. It may have been both.”