Day 13 (cont): The News of the World’s royal editor Clive Goodman had a verbatim transcript of a voicemail left by Prince Harry, the hacking trial was told today. The document and a poor-quality recording of the mobile phone message were seized by police from Mr Goodman’s home in south-west London in 2006, the court was told.
Mr Goodman pleaded guilty in 2006 to plotting to hack phones of three aides at St James’s Palace: Paddy Harverson, Helen Asprey and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.
The existence of the transcript from Mr Lowther-Pinkerton’s phone was revealed at the Old Bailey today, where four former executives of the News of the World (but not Mr Goodman) are on trial accused of plotting to intercept mobile phone messages.
Mark Bryant-Heron, for the prosecution, outlined the extent of the News of the World’s monitoring of the phone messages of Prince Harry and Prince William’s closest aides, Mr Harverson, Ms Asprey and Mr Lowther-Pinkerton.
He said, for instance, that phone records showed that between June 2005 and May 2006 the paper’s private detective Glenn Mulcaire called Ms Asprey’s mobile 48 times and that Mr Goodman had dialled it 83 times.
Turning to the interception of Mr Lowther-Pinkerton’s phone, Mr Bryant-Heron read out the transcript of a phone message which Prince Harry had left for him while training to be an Army officer at Sandhurst.
The message began: “Hi X, it’s Y. Sorry I haven’t returned your call.” Prince Harry then explained he had been on an exercise and asked if Mr Lowther-Pinkerton, a former SAS officer, had any information about the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980, because he had to write an essay on the subject.
Prince Harry concluded the call: “I’m sorry this message has taken so long. Hope all is well, speak to you later.”
The police found a draft story by Mr Goodman about the prince asking an aide for help with his training.
The court was told that in an email to Mr Goodman about the story, Andy Coulson, the News of the World’s then editor, had asked: “Can you get something on the record saying what a disgrace this is.”
Mr Coulson and all other defendants at the trial deny conspiring to hack phones and all other charges.
The case continues.