Entertainment News

  • 29 January 2014, 9:02

Andy Coulson 'Listened To Hacked Voicemail'

The Prime Minister's former head of communications knew about the illegal phone hacking and was played a voicemail left by actress Sienna Miller for Daniel Craig, a court has heard.

An ex-reporter at the News Of The World told the court that former editor Andy Coulson told him to make it look like tapes of the message had been dropped off anonymously at their offices.

Dan Evans said Coulson and other senior figures at the paper were played a recording of the message back in 2005, which he said revealed the pair were having an affair.

He told the court: "Andy came over wanting to hear the tape. I played the tape a couple of times and they listened to it. Andy became very animated, (he was saying) 'brilliant'."

Another journalist said to him: "You are a company man now."

The message contained a female voice saying "Hi it's me, I can't speak, I'm at the Groucho (club) with Jude (Law, her boyfriend at the time). I love you", the Old Bailey heard. Evans said he checked the number on his database and found it was Sienna Miller's.

Evans claims that after he made a copy of the message on Coulson's orders, he was told to put it in a Jiffy bag and take it to reception so it would look like it had been dropped off anonymously.

Another journalist then picked it up with "mock surprise", saying "look what I've found".

James Bond star Craig denied the story when he was confronted by Evans at his home, and publication was delayed for more work to be done on the story. It was published a week later after Law's public relations executive approved it.

Later, Evans listened to an apparently angry voicemail to Craig from Law, which said: "Thanks mate. I hope Saski (his girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell) doesn't find out."

Another story he picked up from Craig's voicemail was the news Eva Green would become a Bond girl. Evans also admitted hacking the voicemail of actor Shane Ritchie and Formula One driver Jenson Button.

Evans told the court "everybody was on tenterhooks" in August 2006 when journalist Clive Goodman and investigator Glenn Mulcaire were arrested. "There was a lot of fear and anxiety around. A lot of people were preparing to cover their tracks."

He added a senior member of staff told him "it goes without saying no more hooky stuff" in reference to hacking. Evans then started getting rid of notebooks and tapes of recorded voicemails, he told the court.

The court was told Evans was suspended and put on paid gardening leave after being caught accessing the messages of designer Kelly Hoppen for a story involving footballer Sol Campbell.

A security alert on her phone led back to Evans' company mobile, the jury heard.

He was made redundant when the paper closed in 2011 and received the same payout as everyone else.

Evans was asked by prosecution QC Andrew Edis who at the News Of The World knew about hacking. He gave 10 names, including Coulson's.

Coulson denies conspiring to hack phones and commit misconduct in a public office. All seven defendants in the trial, including former Sun and News Of The World editor Rebekah Brooks, deny all of the charges against them.

The trial continues.

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