This first extract focuses on former Sunday Mirror and News of the World reporter Dan Evans, who gave evidence against colleagues and admitted phone-hacking whilst at both titles. It also looks at the case against former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks. Beyond Contempt is available to buy as en e-book and order in paperback format
.“Can we hack their voicemail? Oh, there they are… let’s go along with a photographer. That’s kind of how tabloid journalism worked in those days – that was life.” Former News of the World reporter Dan Evans said management referred to phone-hacking during conferences as “special checks,” and unlike the Mirror group, News International wanted everything on email.
During his four years at the News of the World Evans admitted doing thousands of hacks to 100-plus mobile phones, but his most important testimony was about a single hack in September 2005.Evans claimed he was depressed at not doing proper investigative journalism, and getting “bullied” and “monstered” over getting a front-page scoop. The journalist who recruited him told him: “As far as I’m concerned your USP is the phones. And I suggest you get on with some more.” Evans then hacked all the numbers he could until he got to Daniel Craig, the new James Bond, and heard a message: “Hi it’s me. Can’t speak. I’m with Jude at Groucho’s. I love you.” The name ‘Jude’ would have probably been enough to give Evans a clue, but he also said he checked out Sienna Miller’s number from a list in his Palm Pilot: “It was almost the next instalment of a soap opera.”
When he brought it into work the following Monday, Evans claimed in court, he played a Dictaphone recording of the message to the journalist who recruited him, who got “very excited”, started writing copy and “started an operation on it,” with the help of the showbiz columnist Rav Singh. He then played it to Coulson, the editor, who got “very animated” and told the assembled journalists: “I told you so!” Evans said another newspaper executive shook his hand and congratulated him: “You’re a company man now.”