As well as the dramatic disclosure that the late Princess Diana gave Clive Goodman a Royal phone directory, the main part of Clive Goodman’s evidence centres on the nasty atmosphere at the News of the world where menacing and bullying and back stabbing behaviour appears to be the norm.
He claims a News of the World executive engaged a private detective agency to follow him so he could find out who his police contact was, so he could blackmail him to provide the paper with information if Goodman left for the Mirror.
The full story by Martin Hickman is on the hacked off website.
Here are some extracts:
By Martin Hickman
Andy Coulson was “bullying” and “menacing” while editing the News of the World, former royal reporter Clive Goodman told the hacking trial today.
Mr Goodman said that he and Mr Coulson had been friends for years, with each attending each other’s wedding, but added that Mr Coulson had become aggressive after becoming editor in 2003.
Mr Coulson’s behaviour was made worse by the arrival of his new deputy editor, former People editor Neil Wallis, Mr Goodman said.
Describing a hyper-competitive, backstabbing culture under Mr Coulson’s editorship, Mr Goodman told the Old Bailey: “My relationship with him changed, and he became more aggressive, more combative and more bullying.”
In wide-ranging testimony about his 20 years at the NoW, Mr Goodman denied he had paid palace police officers to obtain three royal phone directories found at his home by detectives.
He also told the court that Princess Diana had posted him one of the 15 directories he had in his possession in total as part of an attempt by her “to show the forces ranged against her” in her battle with Prince Charles.
After being jailed for four months in 2007 for eavesdropping voicemails of the Royal Household while at the NoW, Mr Goodman took the rap as the lone “rogue reporter” who had hacked phones.
Breaking his seven-year silence at the hacking trial this afternoon, he was asked by his counsel, David Spens, QC, how he had got on with leading figures at the NoW.
Rebekah Brooks (then Wade), Mr Goodman said, was “co-operative, willing to listen, said what she wanted, not interested in getting into feuds or spats.”
By contrast, his relationship with Mr Coulson became strained where once it had been good.
“He was aggressive,” Mr Goodman told the court.
“He demoted me down the list and then took me off the list altogether. I was forever being berated about the quality of my stories.”
He added: “It sounds quite petty, but it was meant to degrade you in the eyes of others.”
The paper between 2003 and 2006 was “extraordinary competitive, quite bullying, menacing,” Mr Goodman said,….
An executive, on learning that Mr Goodman was considering taking a job with a Mirror title, ordered a private detective from the Southern Investigations agency to follow him to a meeting with a top contact, he said.
The plan was that after following Mr Goodman to the meeting, the detective would then follow the contact after it to establish his identity. If Mr Goodman had left the NoW, the executive, he surmised, planned to “blackmail the contact to continue working for the NoW” or to blow his cover so that he would no longer give information to anyone.
He told the court he discovered this by chance when he happened to pass by the executive’s computer and read about the incident.
……Mr Goodman also said had that Princess Diana had sent him a 1992 copy of the Green Book directory listing phone numbers and addresses for senior members of the Royal Household.
He told the court an envelope had arrived at the front gate of the NoW’s offices in Wapping bearing his name.
Mr Spens asked: “After it arrived, did you receive any phone call about it?”, to which Mr Goodman replied: “Yes, from the Princess, asking whether I received it.”
Asked why she had sent it to him, Mr Goodman explained: “She was going through a very difficult time. She told me she wanted to me to see this document because she wanted me to see the scale of her husband’s household compared to hers.”
He went on: “She was in a very bitter situation with the Prince of Wales at the time, and she felt she was being swamped by the people close to his household. She was looking for an ally to take him on, to show the forces that were ranged against her.”
Asked if any of the 15 phone directories had been supplied to him by police officers, he replied: “None.”
Had he ever received information from a royal protection officer? “No,” he said.
Mr Goodman, who denies conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, continues giving evidence tomorrow.
Mrs Brooks, NoW editor between 2000 and 2003, Mr Coulson editor between 2003 and 2007, and Mr Kuttner deny conspiring to hack phone messages.
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