Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 4 July

Friday 4 July 2014

Court 12 reconvenes for Sentencing
Mr Justice Saunders passes sentence

Court 12 reconvenes for Sentencing
July 4th: Independence Day: three years to the day since @Bynickdavies exposed hacking of Milly Dowler, six NOTW journalists to be sentenced
Back in Court 12 of the Old Bailey – spent every working day here on in the overspill annex for the last eight months. #hackingtrial
There are five senior NOTW journalists in the dock: Dan Evans to be sentenced separately.
The glass fronted dock (shielded to protect the judge) has an exit to the right: that’s where convicted defendants are led away to prison
Court 12 is more crowded than I’ve ever seen it: about 20 horse hair wigs, many new journos, lawyers, police and now security guards.
It’s not a happy day when people are sent to prison: but there is a sense of relief in the Court that this is over, and didn’t collapse.
Mr Justice Saunders passes sentence
The security guards close the door on the dock as the judge is ready to come in
The defendants Mulcaire, Coulson,Weatherup, Thurlbeck, Miskiw all stand to answer their names.
Mr Justice Saunders pauses. The court goes very silent
Saunders reminds the court that Parliament has decided that voice mail hacking is an offence for the press as well as ordinary people
Saunders says “my function is to pass sentences that reflect the criminality of the defendants”
Saunders is taking into account the effect of victims, and the profit made, from phone hacking.
Saunders expects “outrage” from those who think he should exceed maximum sentences, or those who think it’s an attack on the press.
Saunders just wants the comment to be informed. He will not comment on press regulation, or relations with police, or costs of trial.
“Perhaps I can observe it’s not right to measure a trial by the number of people convicted” says Saunders.
Saunders can comment on the volume of phone hacking at NOTW which continued for at least four years, and increased until Mulcaire said stop
“Targets of phone hacking were politicians, celebrities and royalty” says Saunders, as well as friends and colleagues.
“Laura Rooney’s phone was hacked just because she shared the name of a famous footballer… a mistake to say just those in public eye”
“They did pick up intensely personal messages… including doctors and clinics” says Saunders
“They ended up as front page exclusives…. creating an undercurrent of mistrust among friends and families” says Saunders.
Saunders says that while it’s true some wanted stories in press, and some sold stories since they were coming out any through hacking.
“None of this justifies phone hacking, laws protection given to rich and famous as well” says Saunder “same protection to all citizens”
“They all knew it was contrary to PCC code, and that it was morally wrong” says Saunders.
“Not only is ignorance of the law no defence, it provides little mitigation” says Saunders of defendants claim they didn’t know illegal
Justice Saunders talks about hacking of Milly Dowler: Thurlbeck tasked Mulcaire and picked up mistaken message from employment agency
“The NOTW delayed telling the police… that was unforgiveable” says Saunders of Milly Dowler, and emphasising the role of Coulson
“Thurlbeck was not some minor cog in NOTW” says Saunders: he rejects Mulcaire’s mitigation that he was helping the police.
Saunders does emphasise the Mulcaire wasn’t responsible for not telling police.
“Their true motivation was not to act in the best interest of the child… but to sell newspapers” says Saunders of Milly Dowler.
“He and others at the newspaper were prepared to use illegal means… to increase market share” says Saunders of Coulsons youth and ambition
“There was little concern how they got them” says Saunders of binology, surveillance, and phone traffic data use at NOTW
“There was little concern for privacy” says Saunders of NOTW at this time.
Saunders says that not all of the NOTW was based on phone hacking, but “they used it to maintain their competitive edge”
Saunders talks about how the NOTW told the public and parliament that Goodman was a “rogue reporter”
Saunders says Coulson did try to influence Goodman on “what he was trying to reveal”
Saunders talks about Justice Gross’ sentencing in 2007 which revealed more phone hacking at NOTW
“They are distinguished journalists.. who achieved a great deal without resorting to phone hacking” says Saunders of ruined reputations.
“There is ample evidence it increased enormously under his time as editor” says Saunders of Coulson needing to take “prime responsiblity”
Saunders talks of Coulson resigning with good character in 2007, with large severance package.
The four who pleaded guilty will get a third reduction for pleading guilty
Saunders talks of Coulson’s good character with others in distress, and the “delay in this coming to trial..offences occurred many years ago
Saunders talks of the remorse of three guilty pleas “getting caught rather than true remorse” he says.
Since they didn’t not co-operate with the authorities, Saunders can’t take that into account
Saunders talks of the irony of journalists who forced others to tell the truth did not “shine a light into their own profession”
“It takes courage. But good investigative journalism takes courage” says Saunders of failure of defendants to expose what went on
Saunders says it’s “extremely difficult” to sentence Mulcaire
BREAKING: Coulson sentenced for 18 months
BREAKING: Miskiw and Thurlbeck sentenced 6 months
BREAKING: Weatherup is given a suspended 4 months sentence
BREAKING: “Mr Mulcaire you are truly the lucky one” says Saunders of previous sentence: he gets a suspended 6 months sentence
Thurlbeck, Miskiw and Coulson go down
Muclaire leaves through the main entrance.
Saunders says all of us “owe a huge debt of gratitude to the court staff” and the “huge burden” of the 8 month trial.
Laura Witney court clerk and Chris Bennett usher singled out for praise: “they have worked tirelessly” for judge and jury
Court 12 is still in session, now arguing about costs: Laidlaw for Brooks has submissions about indemnities: Edis wants disclosure.
They reclaim of costs from the crown could be both for Brooks and News UK: prosecution could argue they brought costs upon themselves
Edis wants the ‘quantum’ of costs to be established first: Brooks for Laidlaw wants the principles addressed first.
Laidlaw says it could take at least three months to assess Brooks’ projected costs: they accept “this was a Rolls Royce job”
Be the first to understand why 6 were convicted in #hackingtrial and 5 not by pre-ordering ‘Beyond Contempt’ http://www.hackingtrial.com
Justice Saunders wonders whether the conduct of News International might have an effect on the costs they want to reclaim
Justice Saunders Sentencing Remarks at the Hacking Trial http://wp.me/p1YHIt-Ma
People as how I feel about #hackingtrial sentences: the transparency, the light shone on unaccountable power, just as important to me
Justice Saunders is now discussing the costs charged against Coulson – are they indemnified by News UK? What’s the contractual position
The issue of private defence costs for not guilty verdicts, and prosecution claims against guilty verdicts, will be addressed late July
Preface to ‘Beyond Contempt’ http://media.wix.com/ugd/50296b_7bce935622d8479a81e04e09145ccddc.pdf … order now at http://www.hackingtrial.com
Greg Miskiw 02 “That is what we do. We go out and destroy other people’s lives.” I do not wish the same, but rehabilitation for 6 convicted
Justice Saunders spoke today about the ‘courage’ of good journalists: HT @Bynickdavies @MeirionTweets @mwilliamsthomas #hackingtrial #Harris

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 – 25 Jun
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 30 Jun
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 1 Jul

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

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