Charles Clarke adviser Hannah Pawlby 'was hacked by NoW'

Listen to recordings of voice messages left by Andy Coulson on Hannah Pawlby's mobile phone

The family of an aide to ex-home secretary Charles Clarke was targeted by the News of the World as it pursued false rumours the pair were having an affair, the Old Bailey has been told.

The court heard recordings of Hannah Pawlby's voicemails had been made by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

He also gathered contact details for her parents, grandparents and brother.

Prosecutors say then NoW editor Andy Coulson, who denies phone hacking, later contacted her about the story.

The jury also heard that stories about former pop star Kerry Katona in the NoW followed occasions when Mulcaire hacked into her voicemail.

Prosecutor Mark Bryant-Heron told them Mulcaire listened to four messages before the NoW carried stories about the former Atomic Kitten singer in December 2005.

Prosecutors also said a Christmas Day message led to a story appearing on New Year's Day 2006 about problems Katona was alleged to be having with the mother of her ex-husband, the Westlife singer Brian McFadden.

In June 2006, after Mulcaire sent an email to another defendant in the trial, former head of news, Ian Edmondson, with the subject "Katona" and a list of "fav no's", another story featured in the newspaper. Mr Edmondson denies phone hacking.

'Serious story'

Mr Clarke - who was home secretary from December 2004 to May 2006 - told the court that rumours of the affair with Ms Pawlby were "absolutely not" true.

He also described being confronted by a senior journalist from the Sun newspaper - a sister paper to the now closed NoW - over the allegations, and told him the story had "absolutely no basis".

Who are the defendants?

Defendants in the hacking trial

Mr Clarke had threatened to sue the paper for libel if the story was published, which it was not.

Later, during her evidence, Ms Pawlby told the jury that notes taken from Mulcaire - who has already pleaded guilty to phone hacking - revealed he had targeted her and family.

The notes made by Mulcaire included Miss Pawlby's parents' landline number and address; their friend, who used to work for MI6, and the phone number of her brother.

The recordings of voice messages left by Mr Coulson on Ms Pawlby's phone were recovered from Mulcaire's home and played to the court.

In one, he is heard to say: "Hello Hannah, I'm sorry to bother you direct. It's Andy Coulson here from the News of the World. My number's xxxxxxx 406.

"I've got a story that we're planning to run tomorrow that I really would like to speak to Charles about. I wouldn't do this in the normal course of events but it's quite a - it's quite serious story and - and previously Charles has been very helpful with us [inaudible] suggesting that when there are these issues that pop up we should speak directly with him.

Charles Clarke Mr Clarke was home secretary between 2004 and 2006

"So if you could ask him to give me a call or of course give me a call yourself and I'll fill you in. You've got the number and it's now five past one. Thanks very much. Bye."

In another he says: "Hannah, hi it's Andy Coulson again here. Sorry to hassle you, it's quarter to three. I'm hoping you get this message. Could you give me a call please. 406. Thanks."

Ms Pawlby told the jury she had not picked up the two messages left by Mr Coulson.

In cross examination, one of Mr Coulson's barristers, Alison Pople, referred to the possibility that the messages could have been about other stories such as an anti-bullying campaign or the Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs.

Mr Coulson, 45, of Charing, Kent, who also denies conspiracy to commit misconduct, went on to become David Cameron's communications director.

The seven other defendants deny a variety of charges.

The trial was adjourned until Monday.

More on This Story

More UK stories

RSS

Features

  • photo of patient zero, two year-old Emile OuamounoPatient zero

    Tracking first Ebola victim and and how virus spread


  • A young Chinese girl looks at an image of BarbieBarbie's battle

    Can the doll make it in China at the second attempt?


  • Prosperi in the 1994 MdSLost in the desert

    How I drank urine and bat blood to survive in the Sahara


  • Afghan interpetersBlacklisted

    The Afghan interpreters left by the US to the mercy of the Taliban


  • Flooded homesNo respite

    Many hit by last winter's floods are struggling to pay soaring insurance bills


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.