On Nov. 25 , a jury heard that Rebekah Brooks (former editor of the now redundant "News of the World" and, later "The Sun" ) swanked about phone-hacking during a lunch with an alleged victim Eimear Cook. Cook who is the former wife of Ryder Cup golfer Colin Montgomerie claimed that Brooks told her it was "ridiculous" how celebrities did not change their mobile PIN codes.
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey (Reuters)
"We discussed a lot about public figures, people in the media, in a gossipy, fun way." Cook told a London court.
"I remember the topic of how easy it was to listen to their voicemails, as long as they hadn't changed their factory settings." She added.
"She said that it was so easy to do and she couldn't believe that famous people who would have all these advisers and all you needed to do was change the PIN code to make the voicemail secure." She said.
"She told me about how ludicrous it was that people weren't aware of simple ways to protect privacy of mobiles." She added.
"She told me Heather Mills was engaged to Sir Paul McCartney at the time and she had thrown her ring out of a window." She added.
"I had the impression she was talking about Sir Paul McCartney's phone not having its PIN code changed." Cook said
Ms Cook claimed Brooks was "facetious" as she told of the 2002 disagreement between Sir Paul and his wife. She revealed that she met Brooks in 2005 at the home of mutual friends Rafi and Joanne Manoukian.
"My friends were aware I felt very badly treated by the press, especially since I had never chosen to take my right of reply," she told the jury as she had filed for divorce from Mr Montgomerie and came under media scrutiny.
Ms Cook's phone number, address, bank details and mobile phone PIN code were found in a diary belonging to Glenn Mulcaire the investigator who has admitted phone-hacking charges.
She also said that Brooks once ridiculed about a row with ex-husband actor Ross Kemp and the incident ended with police being called.
"I remember we were laughing because she had been in her own newspaper." She said
But Jonathan Laidlaw, QC, defending, accused Ms Cook of lying, saying the lunch was in September 2005 but the bust-up was two months later.
Brooks' lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw accused Cook of lying and making up the lunch conversation but Cook denied the allegations.
"Is that true? Absolutely true? Somebody you had not previously met, opening up to a stranger? He asked.
"This is a woman who is laughing about having been arrested, having spent a night in the cells, and then having to explain that to her boss, the proprietor of a national newspaper?"
"I would not come under oath and lie, I have no reason to lie." She explained she has no reason to lie.
Brooks rebuts the conspiracy to hack phones between October 2000 and August 2006. Andy Coulson, and six other defendants have also pleaded not guilty to linked charges.
As the trial continues the truth will unfold soon.
Former UK Editor Brooks Was Hacking Victim Herself, Court Hears
www.youtube.com/user/WochitGeneralNews News of the World hacking trial due to begin