Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 30 June

Monday 30 June 2014

Mitigation Pleas
The Court hears mitigation pleas from those guilty of Phone Hacking
Andrew Edis QC presents the case for the Crown
Gavin Millar QC pleads mitigation for Gen Mulcaire
Trevor Burke QC pleads mitigation for Greg Miskiw
Hugh Davis QC pleads mitigation for Neville Thurlbeck
Charles Bott QC pleads mitigation for James Weatherup
Andy Coulson’s mitigation plea will be tomorrow

Mitigation Pleas
The Court hears mitigation pleas from those guilty of Phone Hacking
Back to court, after interesting weekend being attacked by Sun columnist, ex NOTW and MailOnSunday investigators; gotta love the free press
Don’t forget, you can read all about hidden background to the #hackingtrial (including trolls) in ‘Beyond Contempt’ http://www.hackingtrial.com
Andrew Edis QC presents the case for the Crown
“Anyone who believes there was a rogue reporter… just has to look in this dock” says Edis QC of Mulcaire, Miskiw, Coulson, Thurlbeck etc.
BREAKING: as you might have not read in the papers, six NOTW employees have been convicted of conspiracy to phone hack #hackingtrial
“The full extent of the hacking will never be known” says Edis “Mulcaire’s notes not always informative”
“Not all the hacking was done by Mulcaire” says Edis “the phone records…. are not available for whole period hacking going on”
Edis talks of six different phone hacking operations at NOTW – it spread in 2005 “because of successes in 2004 in relation to Blunkett”
Milly Dowler was not the first hack, says Edis but “nobody’s made a clean breast of when and how hacking began at NOTW”
“Mulcaire was paid over half of a million pounds under contract.. and further sums of money… for example Blunkett…. Alexander” says Edis
Mulcaire targets “Read like a who’s who of Britain in the first five years of this century” says Edis “in particular members of the cabinet”
Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton were hacked” says Edis: “this was systemic… approved by the editor himself”
Edis says he will not go through the stories obtained by phone hacking because it would be “another invasion” of the victims privacy
Edis adds thats the hacking involved tracking down the killers of Jamie Bulger, and Mary Bell – identities further injuncted by law
“This conspiracy was intended to cause distress… to publish details of people’s private lives that had been uncovered by illegal means”
Edis uses the case of Simon Hoggart, now deceased, who had an affair: “this was on front page splash… revealed by hacking”
“There does not seem to the Crown to be any public interest in that story, whether or not caused by hacking” says Edis
The Hoggart hacking an front page splash caused considerable distress to his family, says Edis using this as an example
Edis goes through Mulcaire’s salary paid through the newsdesk budget. at NOTW
“The news desk editor were responsible as executives during the relevant period” says Edis of those who employed Mulcaire.
Edis goes through the executive responsibilities of Miskiw, Thurlbeck and Weatherup at News of the World
“These people were responsible for direction and co-ordination of reporters… nearly 35 when Miskiw was involved” says Edis.
These were “managers with financial responsibility as well as journalistic responsibility” says Edis of news desk editors.
Edis runs through Miskiw’s promotions and responsibilities at NOTW and beyond “he was closely associated with Mulcaire”
Edis now turns to Thurlbeck’s role in Mulcaire’s taskings. Miskiw taskings would often lead to Thurlbeck stories.
Edis cites Gordon Taylor and Charles Clarke where a Greg Miskiw tasking of Mulcaire leads to a story by Neville Thurlbeck.
Edis says that Weatherup, who didn’t rejoin NOTW till 2004: “joined the system set up by others, and joined it enthusiastically”
Weatherup’s name appears on 137 Mulcaire taskings, but also responsible for his employment: £549,470 paid to Mulcaire
Prosecutor Edis explains previous indictments included specific hacks as well as conspiracy: Mulcaire pleaded guilty to 3 substantive counts
Among those three substantive hacks Mulcaire pleaded guilty to, one was Milly Dowler
Miskiw and Thurlbeck pleaded guilty on 16/06/13 to a ‘single over arching conpiracy…. cover the whole period”
No agreement between the Crown on the “basis of plea” to “determine what the level of criminality is” says Edis.
Edis turns to Mulcaire’s previous conviction for the ‘Alexander Project’ in 2007
The Goodman Mulcaire conspiracy involved over 600 hacking to three victims in 2006: three aides to the young royals.
That conviction doesn’t reflect the “wider scope” of the Alexander, but he cannot be sentenced for them. “The extent of hacking was known”
Edis says that Operation Carytid could have indicted Mulcaire for wider Royal hacks, and so convicting him for them would be “wrong”
“It’s amazing how one forgets things” says Saunders of failure to remember third Royal aide hacked in 2006 – Paddy Harverson
Edis says the guilty pleas for Andy Glichrist, Delia Smith and Hanna Pawlby does enlarge the substantive offence for Mulcaire.
Edis points out that Mulcaire has served a six months already for phone hacking.
Thurlbeck and Weatherup carried on working for News of the World until its closure in 2011, points out Edis.
“The prosecution case is, leaving Mr Coulson aside, Mr Miskiw was the most influential” says Edis – he had contact, 1500 taskings
“Thurlbeck tasked Mulcaire directly from early in the conspiracy” says Anthony Edis QC for the crown.
“Mr Weatherup is the least implicated of the three of them” says Edis of the three NOTW desk editors in the dock of Court 12
“I don’t wish to say a great deal of individual hacks” but he does address Milly Dowler hack in 2002
“Miskiw does not give any explanation at all… no factual mitigation” says Edis “in his working time in the paper”
“Thurlbeck takes a different approach” says Edis of his mitigation. Milly Dowler was a Thurlbeck tasking, initially of her parents.
Mulcaire got Milly Dowler‘s number by hacking her relatives, and then hacked her phone.
Edis on Dowler: “The motive was to try and find her, and that could be described as a less morally wicked intrusion than some others”
“However” says Edis: “what they actually did was to withhold information from the police… they had information for at least 24 hours”
“They spent 24 hours working out if Milly was working in Telford” says Edis. “She would have been exposed to avoidable danger”
“It would have had a double benefit… the News of the World would have had the scoop” says Edis of Milly Dowler.
Edis then talks of the hacking of Sven Goran Eriksson and Faria Alam: a long running lucrative series of stories in NOTW called ‘Svengate’
Abigail Titmuss was investigated a long period of time:
BREAKING: “Hacking in pursuit of a political agenda” is how Edis describes the hacking of Andy Gilchrist during the Fire Union strike
Edis then turns to the hacking of Home Secretary David Blunkett – Mulcaire tasked to hack Kimberley Quinn n 2004
Thurlbeck says in mitigation of the Quinn hack that it was only by listening to her voice mails that it became a “Blunkett hack”
Edis rejects Thurlbeck’s mitigation, and points out that David Blunkett‘s son was a previous hacking target.
BREAKING: NOTW made Newspaper of the Year in 2005 for three stories: two of them, Blunkett and Sven, based on hacking.
“That award was something of considerable professional pride, and arose in part from phone hacking” says Edis of NOTW best paper award.
.@LukeMcB I’ll do BREAKING for new lines in defendants cases – as I have done for 8 months
Edis talks of Blunkett’s messages left for Sally Anderson and Mulcaire’s tape remarked “Say you love and that’s 50 grand”
Edis explains how transcripts of Gordon Taylor hacks “for Neville’ were widely circulated at NOTW, and eventually broke rogue reporter line
Three of the news editors “before the court” were sent the transcript of “very intrusive” Gordon Taylor hacks: woman doorstepped
Thurlbeck wrote an article almost entirely based on Gordon Taylor phone hacks, but it was never published because of legal actions.
“It may be because of that that Mulcaire’s money wasn’t cut that year” says Edis of Gordon Taylor hacking.
The three desk editors in the dock were also involved in the hack of a SPad of a second Home Secretary – Charles Clarke.
While Mulcaire hacked Pawlby’s phone, Thurlbeck and a PI were waiting outside her flat for Charles Clarke, says Edis.
Meanwhile, Andy Coulson was trying to get hold of Hannah Pawlby.
Edis talks of a “continuous watch” on Jude Law and Sienna Miller by NOTW news desk, but also Dan Evans on the features desk
James Weatherup was recorded offering Jude Law’s nanny “considerable sums of money” says Edis.
Edis goes through the “three emails that closed the NOTW” targeting two Cabinet Minister – John Prescott and Tess Jowell.
Last two victims Edis refers to directly at Paul McCartney and Heather Mills: Mulcaire first tasked in 2002 and went on for years.
Edis talks of Mulcaire email 26/04/04 “OVERLOAD – no more please”: “in that frenzy of activity mistakes begin to be made” he says.
“By this stage of the case… Mulcaire is being tasked to hack other NOTW staff, they are turning in on themselves” says Edis.
BREAKING: “Mr Coulson became a victim of his own conspiracy” says Edis of Mulcaire hacking his editor in 2006
“Thurlbeck claims to be an unflinching critic of bad practice in the media” says Edis: but gave no assistance to police.
“The truthful co-operation of Mr Thurlbeck would have saved a great deal of money” says Edis, and points out website deny Taylor hack
Edis reads out what Thurlbeck said in a written statement to the #Leveson inquiry: complaining he didn’t want to prejudice trial
Thurlbeck claimed he was offered “immunity” by the police for co-operation. He also complained of unfounded allegations against Coulson
31/08/05 Thurlbeck email about Mulcairie shown on the screen: getting extra payments for Nine Consultancy incl. “background checks”
Thurlbeck’s mitigation says legal advice was that phone hacking was not illegal.
Thurlbeck says in mitigation his instruction was only to hack Milly Dowler‘s parent: “and Milly” says Edis, putting out prosecution case.
BREAKING: Andrew Edis QC says he’s made an application against the defendants for the costs
BREAKINH: The total prosecution costs attributable to Trial 1 are £1.7m: preparation began 2 years ago, many pretrials (not £100m as stated)
Edis is stripping out the Elveden and Sacha costs of Trial 1 (allegations of misconduct and coverup):
CORRECTION: for phone hacking alone the prosecution costs for the #hackingtrial are only £1.1m
Stripping out the two not guilty verdicts, and a case yet to be tried: the cost Edis wants to reclaim from the six convicted is £750k
£750k “by private standards is considerably modest” says Edis of costs of hacking trial to be reclaim from six convictions.
Edis is going to ask the six defendant to produce “accurate and complete information” of their finances to estimate costs.
Coulson is in discussion with NewsUK as to whether he has any indemnity to any costs: defendants must disclose.
BREAKING: Justice Saunders asks Edis to explain that the maximum penalty for phone hacking is two years imprisonment under RIPA
Edis suggests that the RIPA law “did not envisage this kind of behaviour” over 2 years charge for substantive counts or conspiracy
“When we decided to reflect this behaviour in a single count” says Edis they realised limited sentences, but complexity was an issue.
Justice Saunders talks of the complexity of Coulson’s position, with NewsUK maybe having to indemnify his costs on conviction.
Edis explains to the judge the appeal court hearing between Coulson and NewsUK which forced the latter to cover the former on legal costs.
Saunders says NewsUK can make submissions about the position on Coulson costs.
Gavin Millar QC pleads mitigation for Gen Mulcaire
Justice Saunders asks for counsel for the defendants to mitigate
Mulcaire’s QC goes to the PIs 12/07/13 statement: he will go through events in the Mulcaire timelines and various counts.
Mulcaire’s QC cites the sentencing of Mulcaire which have been “pored over” in various courts.
Gavin Millar QC for Mulcaire goes to the Mr Justice Gross sentencing in 2007: he was sentenced on the basis were identified by those tasking
Millar says that all the evidence of the payments Mulcaire received from NOTW were “before the court in 2007… they are old news”
Millar goes through his client’s first 2006 indictment: 3 royal aides, and 11 others in various “persons in the public eye”
In 2006 Mr Justice Gross made clear Mulcaire didn’t just exclusively deal with Clive Goodman “but other members of the NOTW”
Gavin Millar QC goes to the Leveson Inquiry report on the first arrest and conviction of Mulcaire: they knew the identity of other taskers.
Millar: “It’s now clear.. particularly through Leveson Inquiry, the Crown were in a position to charge Mulcaire with many more incidents”
Millar talks more of Leveson findings of what the police knew, and what more they could have charged.
“A rather odd situation” says Millar of 2006 “but Mulcaire knew the crown were in a position to go further if they wanted to”
Max Clifford, Simon Hughes, Elle Macpherson, Gordon Taylor were four of the other five targets cited in 2006 (forgot the fifth)
“He knew the police and the prosecutors knew full well about this” says Millar of his client Glenn Mulcaire.
Mulcaire said in 2006 “a huge organisation with specialist legal advice” tasked him to hack “not criminal because NGN was instructing him”
Millar talks about the “chastening” affect of imprisonment of Mulcaire in 2007, and he has “committed no further offences” in last 8 years
Mulcaire lost his income after arrest, and his ability to work damaged by conviction: “He’s been in, and is now out of bankruptcy”
BREAKING: Gavin Millar QC says Mulcaire is being chased by his creditors for the sale of his family home. He has no other assets.
Millar now goes through the civil claims for hacking Mulcaire had to face after release from prison. NGN admitted liability in April 2012
Millar says the details of the phone hacking civil settlements “were detailed over many months… even before the Leveson Inquiry”
Millar says “the executives and journalists at NOTW had the benefit of anonymity”: Mulcaire became the “personification of misdeeds of NOTW”
Millar says that only in this trial have the public become aware journalists at NOTW were doing their own hacking.
Mulcaire was “named and shamed…. as the personification of phone hacking scandal…. huge pressures, went on for years” says Millar
Millar says that Mulcaire made quick disclosure in civil arguments: “orders for him to provide particulars” in the later phase.
On the breaking of Milly Dowler story in Guardian on 04/07/11 “more media attention” on Mulcaire and “his family” says Millar.
“In aftermath of Guardian story… Mulcaire publicly accepted his responsibility and apology to family” says Millar.
Millar talks of Mulcaire’s 2012 charging (he made a no comment interview) “from his point of view an odd indictment”
“All four of those taskings….. were fully evidenced in 2006, including Milly Dowler” says Gavin Millar QC of his client Glenn Mulcaire
Gavin Millar QC talks of the “no particular logic” about the substantive hacks that Mulcaire got charged for.
Mulcaire couldn’t be charged with a ‘conspiracy’ count because it would have been an “abuse of process” for convictions already served.
Feb 2013 Mulcaire offered to plead guilty to three counts, but not Milly. 13/03/13 at Southwark, signing indictment, he pleaded guilty
“He’s entitled to credit for that” says Gavin Millar QC for Mulcaire’s guilty pleas: “it wasn’t appropriate for him to take up your time”
May 2013 Mulcaire underwent two voluntary interviews over hacking of Milly Dowler. “Contentious account, but you can’t say not full”
Mulcaire was reluctant to plead to a conspiracy to hack Milly Dowler, rather than a substantive charge. The judge has note on this.
BREAKING: Mulcaire said he acted “with lawful authority by police’ by hacking Milly Dowler in 2002 “proud to be so tasked by the police”
In mitigation for Mulcaire hack of Milly Dowler in 2002, Gavin Millar QC says he “understood the objective was to find Milly Dowler”
Mulcaire says he handed all information on Dowler to his taskers “who had close connections with police”
BREAKING: Mulcaire says he believed in 2002 that Milly Dowler‘s phone number and PIN were given to NGN by Surrey Police
Mulcaire believes there are pages in his notes that have never been disclosed in this trial, to the Leveson Inquiry, or civil proceedings
Mulcaire’s barrister, Gavin Millar QC, says the PI wasn’t aware any material he recovered from Milly Dowler would have been used in paper
Mulcaire says Milly Dowler was “one of a number of special projects” to produce material for the police in the period 2000-2003
Mulcaire says he only accepted the Dowler hack as “special project… in assistance to police… to recover a missing child” says Millar
Mulcaire says his hack of Milly Dowler cannot be associated with the ‘false hope’ moment for her parents.
Millar talks of media reports of Mulcaire investigating Thompson, Venables and Mary Bell: Justice Saunders says its not for sentencing
Break till 2pm
Nice to know just now from senior defence counsel in the #hackingtrial were following me and found my tweets accurate and fair
Gavin Millar QC says, in reference to his client Mulcaire, that he just provided information for NOTW, and had so say what was done with it
Millar says of Mulcaire “it would be unjust to punish him further” and Crown case has been “unfair” to prosecute him on historic material
Millar says the fact Milly Dowler was hacked was known to Surrey police at a very high level. He cites a crown court production order.
BREAKING: back in 2002 Surrey Police promised an investigation into Milly Dowler hacking “It never happened” says Gavin Millar QC
“There doesn’t seem to about…. those who tasked him were concerned to find Milly Dowler” says Millar of Mulcaire: “It was not for a story”
“He was trying to help” Millar says: “It’s untrue [Mulcaire] was just doing this for money. He himself has children of that age at the time”
Gavin Millar QC concludes “there are strong arguments by way of mitigation that should allow the court to avoid immediate custodial sentence
“We do accept NOTW wanted to find Milly Dowler” says Edis – but doesn’t accept police would have tasked Mulcaire.
“He couldn’t do anything they couldn’t do” says Edis of Mulcaire’s claim that he was recruited by police to track down Milly Dowler
Trevor Burke QC pleads mitigation for Greg Miskiw
Trevor Burke QC pleads mitigation for Greg MIskiw, former NOTW desk editor, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to phone hack earlier this year
05/06/13 Greg Miskiw pleaded guilty to Count One: “the only issue to determine today” says Burke is whether maximum sentence.
“It is quite clear from past history the public does not require protection from him” says Burke of Greg Miskiw.
Burke talks of the previous legal discussions of a “qualifying curfew” for Miskiw on 05/06/13 for nine hours a day.
Burke says that previously the qualified curfew, under tag, would have counted towards a sentence: if so, he wouldn’t face jail.
In September 2013, legal argument lifted the qualified curfew which could have reduced Miskiw’s final sentence.
An interesting exchange between Burke and Saunders about whether Miskiw’s continued voluntary curfew is a double edged sword – #had2bethere
Miskiw has a 53 day credit for having awaited the trial wearing a tag with a curfew.
Trevor Burke QC goes through Miskiw career’s from 1970 in Wolverhampton, and voluntary return from Florida in 2011 to face arrest
Burke also explains that Miskiw is not in good health, and is sole carer for an elderly relative.
Miskiw was subject of a bankruptcy in 2010 – he has nothing but a modest pension controlled by others. He has no assets.
Justice Saunders says that he will accept statements of financial means through affidavits: “nobody will have to go in the witness box”
Hugh Davis QC pleads mitigation for Neville Thurlbeck
Hugh Davis QC starts his mitigation for Neville Thurlbeck.
Davis says the central point is that “Thurlbeck is no apologist for what occured… the industry practice at the time”
Thurlbeck has become “an outspoken critic of aspects of the industry” and to hacking victims “apologises unreservedly for their distress”
Thurlbeck’s QC says Thurlbeck has served equivalent to 53 days in custody, and wants to postpone any custodial sentence.
Justice Saunders says, in reply to Thurlbeck’s QC, that he hasn’t heard much abt practice of phone hacking being widespread at other papers
Hugh Davids QC quote Cicero about “tittle tattle” in news – in Ancient Rome: “the news was gossip, and it continues to be the case”
“There’s a morally corrupting symbiosis between celebrities and sections of the press” says Hugh David QC for Thurlbeck.
Davis talks about “a necessary revaluation” of the boundaries of privacy after the #hackingtrial
“The intention was not to cause distress but to… increase circulation in a highly competitive industry” says Davis for client Thurlbeck
Justice Saunders says the defendants could be aware of both higher circulation, and the “distress cause to people at the time”
Davis talks about 2004 PCC code, and NOTW handbook, that phone hacking was a breach of the code that could be justified.
Justice Saunders says that though there were appeals over ‘listen to’ voicemails, no legal issue ever over unlistened to voicemails
BREAKING: Thurlbeck says voicemail hackings “were a corporate practice” known to Kuttner, Coulson, senior NOTW exec and NI lawyer
Thurlbeck did not introduce phone hacking to NOTW, he did not recruit Mulcaire, or have executive roles of Miskiw, Weatherup etc.
Davis says Thurlbeck’s role under Count One: 261 pages of Mulcaire notes attributed to Thurlbeck – 7% of recorded instructions.
Davis says Mulcaire had “other methods” as well as “technical skills related to phone hacking”: he provided information not sources.
Thurlbeck accepts that Mulcaire’s “main investigative” technique was phone hacking: but he points to Coulson and NI lawyer as guides.
Thurlbeck thought phone hacking was a civil breach subject to public interest, his QC Hugh Davis tells Court 12
Davis addresses Thurlbeck’s mitigation on Dowler, and Blunkett hacks.
Davis says on Dowler, the most important point “the distress caused to the Dowler family”: Thurlbeck offers them an “unqualified apology”
BREAKING: Thurlbeck says he was one of substantial team working on Milly Dowler story directed by Stuart Kuttner and Andy Coulson in 2002
“The motivation for this was primarily journalistic” says Thurlbeck’s QC but says looking for Missing Milly was “less morally wicked”
Thurlbeck’s QC agrees with Edis that Mulcaire’s claim they were working for police is “ridiculous”
Thurlbeck agrees NOTW used the Dowler voicemails but “on direction from Mssrs Kuttner and Coulson” they went to Telford.
Thurlbeck says the “significant use of resources” to send a large team to Telford was Coulson’s decision.
BREAKING: Thurlbeck says it was the decision of Kuttner and Coulson not to inform Surrey police of Dowler’s presumed whereabouts.
Thurlbeck admits that saying Milly Dowler‘s PIN came from a schoolfriend was a lie to protect Mulcaire.
Thurlbeck’s mitigation now turns to the Kimberley Quinn/David Blunkett hacks.
“Mr Coulson was directly involved… throughout” says Thurlbeck’s QC about the Blunkett hack, citing the meeting in Sheffield.
Thurlbeck maintains that Blunkett’s voicemails, because they showed ‘distraction’ were of a “legitimate public interest”
“He had no control over that decision” says Thurlbeck over Blunkett story: he says senior NI exec and NI lawyer made decisions.
“The distress caused is genuine and accepted” says Thurlbeck’s QC of his client’s hacking of David Blunkett voicemails.
Thurlbeck refutes Coulson’s evidence that the editor told Thurlbeck to stop hacking Blunkett’s phone: “It’s not accurate”
Thurlbeck says Coulson created the editorial line of Blunkett story, and the hacking was known to NI exec and NI lawyer.
“The use of voicemails was not disapproved of by the editors” says Thurbeck of News of the World.
Hugh Davis QC talks about the end of Thurlbeck’s “life’s work” and the destruction of professional reputation: “he won’t get it back”
Davis talks about Thurlbeck’s National prizes – 2004 Scoop of the Year Press Award on Robin Cook – “not seen as something to celebrate now”
Thurlbeck awarded multiple awards in 2000 for exposing Lord Archer‘s false testimony: Davis cites thanks from investigating officers.
Davis talks of Thurlbeck’s awards for the David Beckham Rebecca Loos story “difficult to see… celebration from industry for Best story”
“Neville, what a triumph” Davis reads aloud praise from NI exec for Loos/Beckham story “seeing us lead the way here”
“The spirit of the times are different” says Hugh Davis QC about contemporary praise for Thurlbeck’s Loos/Beckham scoop.
Thurlbeck has not been legally assisted by News UK, says his barrister (though some checks to be made): no comment interview.
Hugh Davis QC talks of significance of Thurlbeck plea: there was no suggestion he was ever going to give evidence against his colleagues
“It’s slightly sad that capable investigative journalists have not come forward to reveal what was going on” says Justice Saunders
Davis says Thurlbeck’s guilty plea simplified the #hackingtrial
“It revealed to the public the systematic use of phone hacking” says Hugh Davis of Thurlbeck’s guilty plea
“He demonstrated both in public and private genuine and progressive remorse” says Davis of Thurlbeck: he cites reference from vicar.
“At no time in our discussions has he attempted to evade personal responsibility” says Thurlbeck’s vicar of “human cost” of hacking
Thurlbeck now works for several charities, and especially those for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome: Davis cites praise for fund raising.
“Professionally as a journalist his career seems over” says David of Thurlbeck. Imprisonment would jeopardise his support for artists
Hugh Davis QC makes an Article 6 mitigation plea for his client Thurlbeck over the “delay” of the trial
“Delay is a mitigating factor” says Justice Saunders: “I will reflect on the delay which is a punishment in itself”
Final point from Davis: “101 defendants on bail… many of them journalists… some phone hacking…”
“There is a public interest in getting similar defendants to plead guilty” says Davis, asking for mitigation for Thurlback at #hackingtrial
There are no orders covering reporting of what Thurlbeck says of Kuttner: but this is mitigation not evidence.
Charles Bott QC pleads mitigation for James Weatherup
James Weatherup’s QC makes his mitigation plea with “broadly similar general submissions”
“In this most public of cases, nobody has heard Mr Weatherup’s voice except to plead ‘Guilty” says his QC reading out a statement
BREAKING: Weatherup did not instruct Mulcaire of his own initiative: it was standard policy at NOTW. he was required to follow that policy
Weatherup says he was instructed by Coulson, Kuttner and another NOTW exec to use Mulcaire for phone hacking.
Weatherup didn’t like Coulson’s managerial style or attitude – he returned to reporting, and had little contact with Coulson or his deputy
Weatherup rejoined NOTW in 2004: was desk editor for 18 months – he asked to returned to reporting: at odds with Coulson and other execs.
Weatherups taskings of Mulcaire, his QC says, only last 11 months when he had only “artificial’ executive responsibilities.
Weatherup the “least culpable” in his QC’s terms: “the least involved” in Edis the prosecutor’s
“At the time of Mr Weatherup’s offending phone hacking was endemic” says his QC
“Phone hacking was encouraged and known by senior management… an efficient and cheap way of gather info” says Weatherup’s QC
Justice Saunders points out that this is the first time Weatherup has gone on record: he gave a no comment interview to the police.
“It was at least unclear at the time of the offence that it was a breach of the criminal law” says Weatherup’s QC to hacking listened-to vms
Miskiw and Thurlbeck pleaded guilty on 5th June on the basis electronic tags could reduce custodial sentence.
“You lordship did actually say you were removing the condition with some regret” says Weatherup’s QC of “qualifying curfew”
“it was in that expectation Mr Weatherup entered his plea” says his QC about sentence reduction on “qualifying curfew” on electronic tag
“We are all complicit in the error that was made” says Weatherup’s QC of qualifying curfew.
Justice Saunders says he will take into account the delay of the trial in sentences, and the qualifying curfew mistake for about 60 days.
Weatherup’s QC talks about his bravery, but lack of it in facing up to the phone hacking culture at NOTW.
Weatherup’s character witnesses show, say his QC, “remorse he’s communicated with two people who know him best”
Weatherup arrested 14/04/11 summarily dismissed when redundancy due: no legal help from New UK/News International.
Weatherup now works in caravan sales, suffering a drop to quarter of income. Lost his house, his marriage, now lives with son.
Weatherup’s QC turns to some evidence from Dan Evans about his client: he had no chance to test this.
Justice Saunder says he won’t hold Evans’ evidence against Weatherup, because it was served after the latter’s guilty plea
“It takes courage to plead guilty to this indictment” says Weatherup’s QC, though he accepts the criticism he didn’t give evidence.
Andy Coulson’s mitigation plea will be tomorrow
We’ll hear Andy Coulson‘s mitigation, given by Timothy Langdale QC, tomorrow.
Before the court rises, there is some discussion of financial means affidavits: Davis for Thurlbeck asks for court costs to be excluded
Of the £1.2 million cost of the phone hacking element of #hackingtrial, the prosecution is seeking to recover £750k from those convicted
Saunders says that these costs seem to be beyond the means of any of the defendants.
Four of the five defendants leave the dock till sentencing on Friday: Coulson stays, Dan Evans will be sentenced separately
Court 12 now goes into unreportable legal argument about other matters. Back tomorrow with Coulson’s mitigation.

Note: All the defendants deny all the charges. The trial continues.

Related Articles
The Route to Verdict: Justice Saunders Directions to the Hacking Trial Jury
Those Rogue Reporter Emails
Stuart Kuttner Emails to Surrey Police over Milly Dowler
Kuttner Notes of Conversation with Goodman Just After his Arrest
Some of the Mysteries of Phone Hacking – Unlocked

Previous Posts
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 11 Jun
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 24 Jun
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 25 Jun

Links: The Trial So Far | Full Trial Summary | Indexed Evidence | Breaking News

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