Route to Verdict UPDATED: Justice Saunders New Directions to the Hacking Trial Jury

Now that former NOTW Royal Reporter Clive Goodman has returned after an illness that caused his departure from Court 12 to two months, Justice Saunders has updated his Directions to the Jury with the two counts involving Goodman – Counts 2 and 3. The rest of his route to verdict can be found here

The first count – that Goodman conspired with Andy Coulson to purchase a Royal phone directory from a Royal Protection officer has been slightly amended to only include the more sensitive Green Book – so that the jury can make a clean cut decision over the egregiousness of that misconduct compared to Count 3, which is the purchase of a less sensitive internal palace directory.

In short, Justice Saunders first asks the jury to look at the evidence of agreement between Goodman and Coulson, and then to look to the alleged misconduct of a public official. While there is no doubt a Royal Protection Officer is a public official, the alleged selling of the Royal directories has to be a sufficiently serious breach of the public’s trust in the official to amount to misconduct. Justice Saunders summarised the jury’s decision making process like this

Count 2
Clive Goodman

1. Are you sure Clive Goodman agreed to purchase a royal directory (a green book) from a royal protection police officer?
If you are sure, go on to 2; if you are not sure then your verdict is ‘not guilty’.
2. Are you sure that the misconduct of the police officer in agreeing to sell a green book to Clive Goodman was sufficiently serious to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder and for which there was no reasonable excuse? (A police officer is a holder of a public office.)

If you are sure, your verdict is ‘guilty’; if you are not sure your verdict is ‘not guilty’.

Andrew Coulson.

If your verdict on Clive Goodman is not guilty then your verdict on Andrew Coulson will also be not guilty. Only go on to consider the further questions in the case of Andrew Coulson if you have reached a verdict of ‘guilty’ in relation to Clive Goodman.

1. Are you sure that Andrew Coulson agreed that Clive Goodman should purchase a royal directory from a royal protection officer?
If you are sure go on to question 2; if you are not sure your verdict is ‘not guilty’.
2. Are you sure that Andrew Coulson intended that the agreement would be carried out?

If you are sure, your verdict is guilty, if you are not sure your verdict is ‘not guilty’.
It follows from these series of questions that while it is possible for Clive Goodman to be guilty on this count and Andrew Coulson not guilty, it is not possible for Andrew Coulson to be guilty and Clive Goodman to be not guilty.

Count 3

Clive Goodman
1. Are you sure Clive Goodman agreed to purchase a royal directory (an internal telephone directory) from a royal protection police officer?
If you are sure, go on to 2; if you are not sure then your verdict is ‘not guilty’.
2. Are you sure that the misconduct of the police officer in agreeing to sell an internal telephone directory to Clive Goodman was sufficiently serious to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder and for which there was no reasonable excuse? (A police officer is a holder of a public office.)

If you are sure, your verdict is ‘guilty’; if you are not sure your verdict is ‘not guilty’.

Andrew Coulson.

If your verdict on Clive Goodman is not guilty then your verdict on Andrew Coulson will also be not guilty. Only go on to consider the further questions in the case of Andrew Coulson if you have reached a verdict of ‘guilty’ in relation to Clive Goodman.

1. Are you sure that Andrew Coulson agreed that Clive Goodman should purchase a royal directory from a royal protection officer?
If you are sure go on to question 2; if you are not sure your verdict is ‘not guilty’.
2. Are you sure that Andrew Coulson intended that the agreement would be carried out?
If you are sure, your verdict is ‘guilty’, if you are not sure your verdict is ‘not guilty’.

It follows from these series of questions that while it is possible for Clive Goodman to be guilty on these count and Andrew Coulson not guilty, it is not possible for Andrew Coulson to be guilty and Clive Goodman to be not guilty.

Meanwhile, in his closing address today. prosecutor Andrew Edis QC said that Counts 2 and 3 were effectively “cross admissible” to Coulson’s charge of Count One – conspiracy to phone hack – because the directories provided raw material for hacking the Royal Household.

He also said that the Count 5 charge Rebekah Brooks faces over conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office over authorising payments to and MOD official, Bettina Jordan Barber, were also cross admissible to her Count One charges – but in a more limited way, in that they suggested she would use illegal methods to get stories for newspapers.

With the prosecution address having closed, it looks like the trial will continue until the 9th June, with the jury set to retire around that time to reach their verdict.

 

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3 thoughts on “Route to Verdict UPDATED: Justice Saunders New Directions to the Hacking Trial Jury

  1. Pingback: Law and Media Round Up – 26 May 2014 | Inforrm's Blog

  2. Pingback: BREAKING: the Inside Story of the Phone Hacking Trial – Book Announcement | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

  3. Pingback: Cameron´s ex-underling Coulson convicted, Rupert Murdoch still at large | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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