Morning Hearing on 09 February 2012

Ian Edmondson , Darryn Lyons , Heather Mills and Michelle Stanistreet gave statements at this hearing

Hearing Transcript

(9.30 am) MS PATRY HOSKINS Good morning, sir. It's going to be another busy day and we're kicking off this morning with Mr Lyons. You'll see him, he's live on video-link. I'm just going to check that he can see us and hear us. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. MS PATRY HOSKINS Mr Lyons, this is Ms Patry Hoskins. Can you hear me and can you see me? MR LYONS Yes, I certainly can. Good morning. MS PATRY HOSKINS Good morning. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Probably not morning for you. MR LYONS No, it's the evening, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Right. MS PATRY HOSKINS Mr Lyons, I think you have a copy of the oath with you. Could you please hold the Bible and read it out. Thank you. MR DARRYN PAUL LYONS (sworn) Questions by MS PATRY HOSKINS MS PATRY HOSKINS Could you please state your full name for the Inquiry?
A. Darryn Paul Lyons.
Q. Mr Lyons, you've provided a short statement to the Inquiry and a short CV. Can you confirm that the contents of your statement and your CV are true and accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief?
A. Yes, that's true.
Q. Your career history, Mr Lyons, is set out in considerable detail in the CV or biography document. For the purposes of this Inquiry, we don't need to go into it all, and it's probably sufficient to note a few facts. I'm just going to summarise them and if you just tell me whether I'm right, that would assist. You were originally from Australia, but you moved to London some 25 years ago now and started working for the Daily Mail as a freelance photographer. Correct so far?
A. Yes, that's correct.
Q. You worked there for some years, and whilst working there, you set up your own picture agency, an agency which is now known as Big Pictures?
A. That is correct.
Q. You then left the Daily Mail and continued to expand Big Pictures and it's now a global enterprise with offices all over the world?
A. Well, not quite all over the world, but in two countries, yes.
Q. Okay. You have written a book about your experiences called "Mr Paparazzi", published in 2008. You've also participated in a BBC documentary called "Paparazzi" and you've also now created what you describe as "the world's number one online celebrity destination,"?
A. That's correct.
Q. I think it's fair, isn't it, that unlike one witness we've had recently you have no problem with the term "paparazzi", would that be right?
A. No, it's only another word in the English language.
Q. Let's start with Big Pictures and the scale of Big Pictures. You explain in your statement that you employ 29 members of staff, plus you have 152 casual workers. Is that still fair and accurate?
A. That is correct.
Q. How many of the employed staff are photographers?
A. Around about 10 or 12 are staff photographers.
Q. You tell us that they work on a salary and the freelancers will work on a commission basis.
A. That is correct.
Q. Once you have the photographs from either your staff photographers or the freelancers, your job or your agency's job is to arrange to sell them on to a magazine, newspaper, or whatever? Have I summarised that accurately?
A. Absolutely. Yes, you have.
Q. Can I ask you now about the way in which your photographers, either freelance or employed, are regulated? Let's start with freelancers, please. Are they entirely self-employed or do they have some form of rolling contract with you?
A. No, freelance photographers are self-employed. They we may give them some kind of a direction on a daily diary in and around London, but also agencies, foreign agencies have freelance photographers which supply them, which then, on a relationship between the two companies, we sell their pictures in either London or whatever rights around the world that we have particularly. So, no, they aren't regulated. They go out and they get their own stories and their own images and then we make a decision whether we publish them or not.
Q. All right. You expressly say in paragraph 10 of your statement to the Inquiry that freelancers are not really Big Pictures' responsibility. What do you mean by that?
A. Basically when I say they're not our responsibility, freelance photographers submit to many different agencies. They'll also submit to different magazines. They'll also submit to various newspapers and magazines and possibly TV stations. So freelancers, they will have an agreement with different companies to supply the pictures. Sometimes freelancers, very common today, supply their pictures to several agencies, hoping to get as many sales around the world as possible. So they actually run themselves. Some take direction from the agency and my staff within the agency, ie photo editors or sales directors, but that's very, very rare. Most of them actually get their own information, their own ideas, whether it be home or abroad.
Q. Did you also intend to mean that their behaviour is not your responsibility?
A. Well, they're not employed by us. My staff are employed by me so as far as I'm concerned my staff, it is within my responsibility, but also we make pretty decent checks on the photographers that do supply us and we also scrutinise the images that come in, and if there are any questions to ask about the images, my dedicated team in my London office would ask the questions that needed to be asked.
Q. What kind of questions would you ask of a photographer when a photograph came in? Give us an example.
A. It would depend on what the subject would be. It would depend totally on the image. You have to remember Big Pictures turns over probably about 3 to 3 and a half thousand images a day, so it would have to be something if a question was asked, it would have to be scrutinised by the team, but that would happen in a pretty rare situation, unless a newspaper or a magazine or our photo editors or sales director looked at it and thought possibly there may be something odd about that particular picture. Each picture that comes in would be dealt with on its merits.
Q. All right. So can I summarise your evidence like this: in most cases you wouldn't need to ask any questions because it would be obvious from the photograph that no questions needed to be asked, but in a rare case that's your word you might ask some questions. Are there any photographs that you would simply never accept? You say in your statement that you've rejected photographs on several occasions. Give us an example of a photograph that you would reject or have rejected.
A. Look, it would be a look, to be absolutely specific, there would be many, many cases. To have one specific off the top of my head would be difficult. But there would be pictures that we would find unsaleable simply because the person particularly it was taken not in accordance with how we would take pictures.
Q. Try and give me an example, if you can. It doesn't have to be a specific example of one photograph you've actually seen, but give me an example of a situation where
A. Okay
Q. you would reject a photograph.
A. Whether it be extreme nudity, whether it be extreme a situation where we felt that the photographer would have crossed a line, whether it was taken on private property, those kind of examples, which would normally stick out like sore thumbs to us, or if the picture would have come that looks as if it had been taken, you know, from out of a magazine or a foreign publication or such like.
Q. All right. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'd like to know, Mr Lyons, just picking up on what you've just said, what is "the line"? Where is your line?
A. Well, the line is, sir, along with the PCC line. The PCC line is what we use. MS PATRY HOSKINS Just sticking with freelancers for the moment, you've told us that essentially they're not your responsibility, but you ensure that photographs given to you by them are scrutinised carefully; is that a fair assessment?
A. Absolutely.
Q. Are you happy that in general terms your freelancers behave in a way that you would describe to be ethical?
A. I wouldn't be responsible for foreign agencies around the world, but particularly the freelancers that supply my offices in Australia and London, yes.
Q. Okay. Let me ask you about employed photographers now. You explain in your statement that there is no Big Pictures code of practice, no manual governing behaviour of employees, but photographers are informed of what is expected of them. Was that just the employed photographers you were talking about there?
A. Look, the employed photographers by the agency know exactly and would have been briefed when they were employed by the CEO or the manager or the sales directors in this case of exactly what was expected of them.
Q. You go on to say that they know what they can or cannot do, and this is based on the PCC recommendations. What do you mean by the PCC recommendations?
A. There is a in recent years, certainly the PCC has laid down reasonable guidelines that photographers should and should not act with, so it is if someone is in a public place, the fact of the matter is that I look at a public place, the company looks at a public place as recording a picture. Now, the PCC, not that I am overly familiar with it now as I explained to you earlier, I haven't had much time to look over the documentation, but photographers have to make their own judgment with regard to who and what they photograph and in what circumstances, guided by the management in my office.
Q. Right. So when you say "the PCC recommendations", do you mean the PCC code? Do you mean another document? I'm just I just want to understand
A. The PCC code.
Q. You mean the PCC code, all right. Again, in relation to your employed photographers, are you satisfied that they behave in a way that you would describe to be ethical?
A. I have no reason to believe from my management that they don't.
Q. Right, okay. You've explained how your photographers are expected to behave. You have also explained the types of questions that you might ask before you accept certain photographs. You've also told us that your photographers act ethically. Now I want to understand, please, your ethical stance and whether or not you would accept certain types of images by reference to some practical examples, if I can. Can I start with a particular practice that's been described in evidence to this Inquiry and that's the practice of chasing people in cars with a view to obtaining a photograph of them. You may have heard some of the witnesses to this Inquiry describe being chased at speed, sometimes in dangerous situations, in cars by photographers just to get an image. I don't know if you've seen or heard that evidence.
A. I haven't, but yes.
Q. Pardon, sorry?
A. I haven't heard that evidence.
Q. All right. Let me start, please, with something you say in your book. I did ask that you have a copy of your book with you and unfortunately I think you've told me that you don't have a copy of it with you. Hopefully it will be familiar to you. Can I read out a passage from it?
A. Yes. MS PATRY HOSKINS Sir, I've given you relevant extracts and it's page 266 of the book. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. MS PATRY HOSKINS This part of the book is just following your description of the role of the paparazzi following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Previously you've explained in this part of the book that you think the chasing paparazzi were not responsible for her death, but I don't want to go into that, it's another topic in itself, but then you say this: "I hope people realise, though, that chasing for pictures has always happened and that for the quarry, the option to take is not to break the law and start driving at crazy speeds in order to lose people. Paris has always been famous for its teams of scooter-riding paps. Scooters are in fact a way of life in all of France. It was like that in 1997 and it is like that now. Big recently got some great shots of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt that were taken by one of our guys operating from within a pack of scooters following the stars' car through Paris." I'll pause there. Your book was published in 2008. I'm assuming that when you were saying "it's the same now", you meant 2007 or 2008; would that be correct?
A. It would be correct. It wouldn't have been from a photographer from our agency, it would have been from a supplying freelance, but anyway, I'll yeah.
Q. The words that I've just quoted seem to demonstrate that you would consider this type of photograph legitimate, a photograph that was obtained whilst chasing someone's car through the streets. It's all just part of the chase and it's just a legitimate way of obtaining a photograph. Is that fair and accurate?
A. Look, the passage of the book you're describing would have been by a supplied agency. I was merely making reference to what happens in the way the French the way French photographers would work on a relevant news story. And I also think from whether it be a newspaper, a magazine or any freelance photographer on a news story, yes, I would say that that would be the case.
Q. Yes, it would be a legitimate way of obtaining a photograph?
A. If someone was not breaking the law in taking a legitimate photograph, I would assume that that is right, yes.
Q. The second point I want to draw out from that example is you say that the option for the person being chased is not to break the law and start driving at crazy speeds in order to lose people, so would it be fair to say that you consider part of the blame might lie in the fact that people being chased break the law, speed up and try to get away? Is that part of the problem?
A. Well, I can't I couldn't be specific because I'm not a photographer on the road out there in the field. You'd have to ask a photographer that. But I would say look, the fact of the matter is obtaining pictures are obtained within the law. That would be what our photographers have been told on many occasions, and if there has been any incidents, my management would be hauling them in and asking questions why that wasn't the situation. Can I be responsible for a French agency that runs its own agency, whether it be in the same way as I do or the management I employ do? I can't answer that question.
Q. No, the question
A. It's their responsibility to act accordingly within their ethics and boundaries.
Q. The question I have for you, Mr Lyons, is not whether you are responsible for the photograph, but whether you would have any difficulty ethically with accepting a photograph that had been obtained in that particular way. I think the answer to that, that you've given me, is: no, you would not have a problem with that?
A. I said it would be totally dependent on the circumstances that the photograph was taken.
Q. All right. Let me ask you about this same topic by reference to a different example, if I can. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Mr Lyons, I think it's quite important you understand I'm not inquiring specifically into the operation of your business; I'm trying to get an image of the culture and the practices of your industry. That is taking photographs. So I'm not looking for a hook to get at you; I'm simply trying to learn what happens.
A. I understand, sir. MS PATRY HOSKINS Let me raise this same topic with you by reference to a second example. I think we sent you various links to various documents. Do you have an article it's at tab 8 for you, sir it's an article in the Guardian newspaper headlined "Have celebrities finally snapped?" It's dated 4 May 2009. You should have had a link and therefore a printout of that copy.
A. I don't have a printout, but I can get it up, I'm pretty sure. (Pause) You'll have to refresh it, it's not coming up.
Q. That's fine, I can do that. The section I want to refer to is short.
A. Yes.
Q. This concerns proceedings brought against you by Sienna Miller in 2009.
A. Yes?
Q. Now, the relevant part of the article is at the bottom of the first page and it says: "Both [it's referring to other injunctions which we'll come back to] follow an action brought by the actor Sienna Miller, who sued Big Pictures, one of the biggest agencies for celebrity photographs, for harassment and invasion of privacy Pausing there, do you remember that particular claim brought by Miss Miller?
A. I'd like to know in relation to which particular claim it was.
Q. It was a claim in 2009 brought on two
A. Relating to what pictures, I was asking the question.
Q. It was not just photographs, of course, it was two different well, the claim had two parts: harassment and invasion of privacy. So it wasn't just about the taking of particular photographs.
A. Okay.
Q. It was also a claim brought because she'd been subject to a campaign of harassment, as I understand it.
A. Okay. I wasn't I wasn't in charge of that particular action.
Q. Do you remember the claim? That's all my question is for the moment.
A. I remember I do remember a claim, but I don't remember that specific claim, no.
Q. All right. Perhaps I can just tell you a bit more about what it says here. Maybe that will refresh your memory. She brought the claim, she was awarded ?53,000 in damages and costs as part of a settlement that resulted in the agency's photographers being forbidden from following her. As I understand it, your company had to give detailed undertakings to the court including not following her or chasing her in a car. Do you recall that now?
A. Yes.
Q. Right. The article goes on to quote your chief well, yes, your chief executive, Alan Williams, as saying: "We believe in the right of a photographer to take pictures in a public place." And you are quoted as saying this is tab 7 and the fact that you don't have the particular tabs is not particularly helpful. Do you have an article headed "Amy Winehouse wins court ban on paparazzi at her home"?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. 1 May 2009.
A. I think this is the one I have up here, yes.
Q. All right.
A. Yes, I have.
Q. At the bottom of the third page and over onto the fourth page you are asked about a number of cases brought against you, and
A. That's right.
Q. on the very last page of the article you say this: "As for Sienna Miller I don't go near her now and we throw away any pictures that come in that are taken of her but I do wonder how wrong it was to photograph someone on a boat in the Mediterranean and in the company of a married man whose wife and children were at home. What's more immoral in this case?" Do you see that?
A. Yes. Yes, I do.
Q. Can we agree that it might be said that both these responses, the responses of your CEO and your response, miss the point on the issue of harassment?
A. I think I'd like to address on this also
Q. Yes, of course.
A. and make a very valid point.
Q. Yes?
A. Miss Miller was photographed at this particular time on a boat, yes, in the Mediterranean, on a boat with I think it was Balthazar Getty, which was a huge news story at the particular time
Q. I'm going to interrupt you because I'm on the issue of harassment. The claim was brought in relation to photographs which were agreed to have invaded her privacy, but the claim also related to harassment, ie following her in a car, chasing her and so on. Okay? So at the moment can we just stick on that? I promise we'll come back to the issue of privacy in a moment.
A. All right.
Q. Just sticking to harassment, your response seems to suggest that you now leave Miss Miller alone. You've said that here: I don't go near her now and we throw away any pictures that come in". Am I right
A. Basic
Q. I haven't asked my question, if you just give me a moment. Am I right to think in that case you leave her alone but you don't necessarily agree that the methods employed by your photographers were wrong?
A. Well, I mean, at the end the fact of the matter is that celebrities court publicity when they want to court publicity and then all of a sudden they want to switch it off very, very soon after. I'm still trying to understand the question as to what you're trying to say. I mean, it was very clear what I said in that particular statement.
Q. Yes.
A. That particular paragraph is totally relating to different circumstances than what you're talking about. I don't agree that people should be hounded up and down the street all day in any shape or form, but I do agree that people, as a part of historical as a part of history, should be photographed in public places, absolutely, and I'm avid about it. We have a free press and a free press should be able to work in public places.
Q. All right. Let me put this question in a different way: were any of your photographers or freelancers disciplined or blacklisted as a result of the Sienna Miller claim or did you put out any relevant guidance to them? Did you stop using certain freelancers? Did anything happen as a result of that claim?
A. (overspeaking) I couldn't answer that question. That would have to be referred to Mr Alan Williams who was dealing with that at the time.
Q. I understand, all right. Let me give you one last example on this issue, please, from your book. Again, you don't have it but I will read out the section. It's pages 32 and 33 of the book.
A. Yes.
Q. It's referring to your time at the Daily Mail and you explain that you spent much of your time loitering outside the Portland Maternity Hospital, with others, waiting for the Duchess of York's first child to be born.
A. Yes.
Q. And while you were there, you were being teased by other photographers because you didn't know how to pull off a car shot.
A. Yes.
Q. And you say this: "This shot required technique, luck and a whole lot of guts. Pete gave me the lowdown and left me to practice. The premise was as follows." And then you set out some technical details with your camera and you explain how you set your camera and then you say this: "You then run at the car crash, bang, wallop with a wide angle lens. Rosie and I used to run up to people driving home past the Portland and practice on them. Must have scared the living crap out of them. Funnily enough, just recently I took a call from the police who were making a complaint about a couple of my big guys. They were outside TV personality Ulrika Jonsson's house and had been practising their car shots on a family and almost caused a major accident. While this was in truth no laughing matter, it did remind me of the old days."
A. Yes. And that particular situation was an isolated case where, without question, the photographers were disciplined in no uncertain terms.
Q. All right. So car shots are acceptable, but if they cause a major accident or almost cause a major accident, that might be where you draw the line?
A. No, madam, I think you're talking about totally different times here. Historically, the terms and conditions of photographs being taken in the press have changed over many years. We're talking about the Portland Hospital 25 years ago, where it was common practice for TV crews, camera staff photographers, world media, there were 150 of the world's media camped outside the Portland Hospital at that particular time. The fact of the matter was it was standard practice to get news stories directed by editors of national newspapers and picture editors of national newspapers to do car shots. That was your job. If you didn't get that particular picture, there was a good chance you'd never get another shift again on a national newspaper, and that's an absolute fact.
Q. Do you still condone the use of car shots?
A. Look, the fact of the matter is in a news situation of someone leaving a premises, yes, I think it is within the right of a photographer to take a photograph of someone in a car.
Q. All right. Let's deal with LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Just before you do. When did it change? You mentioned 25 years ago and that sort of activity outside the Portland and it wouldn't happen now, but when did it change?
A. Look, I don't think it has changed, sir. I think that various staff photographers of national newspapers, freelance photographers all over the world, for instance, at the Royal Wedding, and recently with, you know, even the London riots when Camilla and Charles were in particular cars, car shots were taken then and they're probably being taken at some stage in London today. They're a regular occurrence of news photographers, and more so news photographers than celebrity photographers in getting an image which a newspaper or magazine may want around the world. MS PATRY HOSKINS Can we continue with some more examples, please? At tab 6, for the Chairman you don't have tab 6: "Lily Allen given legal protection from paparazzi harassment." Do you have that article? If not, I can read out the relevant parts.
A. Two seconds, I'll be there. It's coming up. (Pause). Yes, I do.
Q. 16 March 2009 is the date of the article. What it says is this, I'll paraphrase: essentially, Lily Allen has obtained a legal injunction from the High Court to be protected from harassment by two paparazzi agencies, Big Pictures and another. It says it was made at the High Court in March 2009, and "followed an incident outside the singer's London home on Thursday in which a photographer's vehicle collided with her car. After the collision, photographers continued to follow Allen." Then it says: "[Lily Allen] obtained undertakings from two photographic agencies and one photographer." And also an injunction restraining further harassment by other paparazzi photographers. "Photographers covered by the order must not pursue or follow Allen by any means or approach her within 100 metres of her home. They are also forbidden from taking pictures of her in her home or the home of any members of her family or friends." I don't need to read any other part of it, but let me read another section from the "Have celebrities finally snapped" article at tab 8. Ms Allen describes the circumstances in which she decided to obtain the injunction. She said this at the bottom of page 2: "I turned into a T-junction and they all ran a red light, then tried to overtake on the inside. A woman had to slam the brakes on her car as they cut in. I braked too, of course, and this guy ran into the back of me. I got out of the car. I was shaken up Instead of talking to me, like a decent human being would, he got his camera out and started taking pictures, and I just thought, 'I've had it with the press, I can't do this any more.' I got back into the car and called my lawyer." Again that injunction was brought and obtained against your company, and persons unknown, it's true. Is there anything that you want to say about that particular incident or about the obtaining of that particular injunction?
A. I don't know about the incident, I don't recall the incident occurring, from my perspective. I do recall an incident where, after Lily Allen got an injunction, the photographers she walked out and revealed herself and said, "You can't photograph me any more, can you?" So I don't know that particular incident, and I'm sorry, I can't help you there.
Q. All right.
A. I don't know what agency I don't know what agency it was in that particular incident.
Q. All right. Finally, completing the picture, tab 7 contains the article we've already referred to about Amy Winehouse winning a court ban on paparazzi at her home, and again we can see from that document that an injunction was obtained by Amy Winehouse again banning your agency, Big Pictures, from following her and also referring to persons unknown
A. Yes.
Q. seeking to photograph the musician outside her home and in other public places. Halfway down page 2 of 4, a source close to her management team is quoted as saying: "The injunction was sought because press attention made her life unsafe. Every time she got in the car she was chased or was jostled and it has become unsafe not just for her but for the people around her. We don't have a problem with the press doing their job, but it has been mayhem a couple of times and Amy had to do something." Now, again, are you familiar with that particular injunction that was obtained against your company?
A. I'm extremely familiar and it wasn't my company, and the fact of the matter was is that it was photographers using the name of my company, which has happened on a regular basis, because of the company's, I suppose, success, that we were used. I spoke to the management of Amy Winehouse at the time with regard to that and I did have an apology. I also then spoke to the PR people who spoke to me along the lines of this, and Amy Winehouse invited us into her house as an apology to do a set-up with Amy Winehouse in her house leaving, which is the absolute facts about that case. It wasn't a Big Pictures photographer at all.
Q. All right. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Is that a problem that you have, that people pretend that they're engaged by your business?
A. It is a huge problem, sir. It's happened on many occasions and caused us no end of grief. People either from other agencies, competitive agencies, or freelance photographers giving, number one, false names, and saying always that they're from Big Pictures. It's it has caused us no end of problems and also with regard to relationships with celebrities that my company and myself personally, as you will see that we work with a tremendous amount of celebrities, and celebrities make a tremendous a very high cut of the profits of the sale of pictures. MS PATRY HOSKINS All right. You see, Mr Lyons, it might be suggested by some that there's a bit of a pattern here, you see. The Sienna Miller claim, the Lily Allen injunction, the Amy Winehouse injunction, the Angelina and Brad photos obtained in Paris, the Ulrika Jonsson example we've read out from your book. These are all examples over a two-year period, Mr Lyons. Can you tell us whether anyone, any photographer, either freelance or employed by Big Pictures, has ever been disciplined or blacklisted as a result of any of these actions taken?
A. With
Q. To the best of your knowledge?
A. Oh sorry?
Q. You don't know, is that the answer?
A. No, I would certainly have to check with the CEO, but there is no doubt that photographers have been disciplined within my company for actions that the company does not adhere to with regard to their behaviour, absolutely.
Q. But to the best of your knowledge, has anyone been disciplined as a result of the examples that we've been going through?
A. To the best of my knowledge, I would have to take secondary advice, I'm sorry.
Q. Would the answer be the same if I asked you whether you'd ever issued any guidance relating to this sort of behaviour?
A. There is guidance of course there is guidance relating to this behaviour. It would be on a regular basis to anyone coming into the company. People know where they stand with regard to the rules and regulations and our code of practice within the company, albeit I don't have it in written form in front of me, but I can certainly check for you.
Q. But no new guidance has been issued as a result of that spate of injunctions and claims?
A. I didn't say that. I have no idea what my CEO or managing directors have said at the time along the lines of those personal incidents. I'm the company chairman, I'm not in the office every day, in fact I'm in the office very rarely. I've been over here for the last four months filming television. At the end of the day, that has been a consistent pattern over the last five years with Big Pictures. I am away a lot but I certainly trust my management in place to take action if action is sought in that area. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Could you let us have copies of any written guidance that your company have issued over the last five years?
A. I certainly can check with my PA as soon as I get off this, certainly, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much indeed. MS PATRY HOSKINS That was just examples of harassment or claims brought where a campaign of harassment was alleged. I am now going to ask you about privacy briefly. Again you've been pursued through the courts in privacy claims a number of times. Can I ask you well, let's touch on the Sienna Miller case in 2009. I think you wanted to talk about this before. These were the photographs taken on a boat. It's right to say that you had to accept that you had invaded her privacy on that occasion; is that correct?
A. Look, at the end of the day, I think it is very interesting what sir said just recently, he wants to get a whole overview of what goes on within the industry. Now, the fact of the matter is that pictures on a boat in the middle of the Mediterranean have been taken well, since Brigitte Bardot was sunning herself on the beaches of San Tropez. It's only in recent years that people have taken, number one, legal cases against photographers in privacy situations. The photographers in that particular circumstance, the reason I found it very, very strange is that the week that those pictures or around about the same time, Sienna Miller was photographed by a long lens, a paparazzi picture placed on Grazia magazine, and strangely enough Grazia magazine didn't have any legal issue because it was a very good brand for Sienna Miller to be seen on the cover. But as soon as a picture is taken by a freelance, which at the time freelancers all around the world it was normal practice to photograph celebrities in the sun and sand, and the rich and famous playgrounds, all of a sudden, when photographers were seen openly, and there were 300 or 400 boats around this at the particular time, all of a sudden there's legal action. I think when it suits a celebrity at times, they decide to legal, and when it doesn't suit sorry, when it doesn't suit the celebrity at the time, they decide to legal, but if it's presumed that they are in a good light, the celebrity necessarily won't.
Q. All right, that's very helpful, but can I just ask my question again about Miss Miller?
A. Yes.
Q. You accepted that that case was not simply about photographs on a boat; it was about photographs taken on a number of occasions, including occasions where she was clearly distressed, photographs of her taken when she was clearly distressed. Do you remember that, Mr Lyons?
A. I don't know about specific pictures that relate to that case unless you show them to me, no.
Q. All right. Can we look at some other cases? We'll move on if you have no memory of that to other privacy payouts, other privacy claims brought against you. Tab 5, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MS PATRY HOSKINS This is the Grant and Hurley privacy payout and the article makes clear that Hugh Grant, Elizabeth Hurley and her husband have accepted ?58,000 in a legal case over photographs taken whilst they were on holiday. Again you and one other agency had to pay compensation as a result of an invasion of privacy over the photographs which were taken while they were staying in a private resort. Do you remember that?
A. I didn't deal with this at the particular time from a legal basis. My CEO at the time did. Do I remember it? Very vaguely.
Q. All right. Then we have the JK Rowling photographs which resulted in a court judgment, tab 3, sir. Photographs taken of her child in 2004.
A. Yes.
Q. Do you remember that? I don't want to go through it in any detail.
A. I do recall it, of course I recall it. I didn't deal with the particular situation at the time, but I'm very happy to take questions on it.
Q. I simply want to understand
A. The ones I can answer I will.
Q. Of course. As a result you may again not be able to answer this, but as a result of the JK Rowling case, the Grant and Hurley case, the Miller case, where there were invasions of privacy in each case, are you aware of any disciplinary action taken or guidance given to your photographers?
A. In the case of the JK Rowling case, certainly this was the first legal situation that we had ever had, and it took I think it was two or three years after the pictures were taken, when anything actually happened with regard to privacy. Those pictures were on our website the pictures actually were taken, from what we thought, the photographer took a picture of her walking down a public street in Scotland. There was no problem that we felt that she had at the particular time of the picture. The picture was posted in our archive, which is a library, and it was downloaded several years later and used by a story about famous mums' families for ?75. It was just a stock image that was downloaded by the Sunday Express. We didn't feel, certainly at the time, that there was any privacy invaded at the time. It was not common knowledge in the industry that any case had been brought against any picture agency.
Q. I've been through a number of examples with you, both in relation to harassment claims and privacy claims. Does it concern you that there have been so many actions brought against Big Pictures in the last three or four years?
A. Any legal action is concerning, especially where on one day we're doing a set-up with Naomi Campbell through her PR or management and then all of a sudden one day, the next, she's sending through some kind of legal action for privacy. The same as either someone like Charlotte Church, the same like many celebrities, one day if they're photographed in a situation that they you know, it is so the problem with the industry as we face today is photographers and picture agencies and publishers really don't know where they stand. It is extremely ambiguous. With regard to Lily Allen, you'll photograph her on a beach one day and you'll never hear because they're lovely pictures. The next day you'll have a lawyer's letter through your post. So I'd like to make that point. And also, half the industry make a tremendous amount of money working with agencies such as this, not only boosting their PR around the world but also taking cash for set-up photography with the paparazzi on a regular basis.
Q. I'm going to quote one more paragraph from your book. I'd be grateful if you could tell me whether you still hold the same view. Page 149 you say this: "All these truths about the nature of celebrity mean that when Big Pictures is out there papping the stars, some will claim that to an extent we're imposing on their privacy and causing them some kind of distress. My answer to that is simple: if you can't hack the job, don't wear the hat." Do you still believe that? Is that still your view?
A. Look, at the end of the day, being a celebrity is a choice of the person. I've seen it from both sides of the camera, and the fact of the matter is that if you are in the public eye, you are looked up to. We live in a world of voyeurism. It is a business where young people look up to. I think you're in a situation where celebrities feel if it's on their terms, it's fine, and if they've done the wrong thing or something immoral and that's been recorded in history, as in a photograph, and they don't like it, all of a sudden I get apologies from celebrities along the lines in these situations. So the trouble is there is no direct you don't know whether you're photographing someone famous these days, whether it be right or whether it be wrong, because the fact of the matter is it's totally ambiguous. 50 per cent of celebrities want to be photographed and they love it for their own self gain in terms of financial back pocket, and to make them more famous, and others will pick and choose the times when they're promoting their record or their television show or their movie to be photographed, and, you know, we have people from all sorts of Hollywood stars ring us up, from Mariah Carey's PR as soon as she hits town, Paris Hilton's PR and management ring us up as soon as they hit town saying she's staying there, she's going there. They want the publicity. It's an ambiguous situation that I have said all along that picture agencies and picture people that are recording history of celebrity don't know what is right any more and what is wrong because common practice up until the last five to ten years has changed dramatically through people through kind of a back door privacy law, really. MS PATRY HOSKINS I have three short questions left, please, Mr Lyons. The first is the existence, whether or not you have what's known as a "no shoot list". Mr Morgan from Splash picture agency explained to us that he has a list of people that he simply doesn't touch any more, he doesn't accept photographs in respect of those individuals any more, either because there's been a court injunction or for other reasons.
A. Yes.
Q. Do you have a similar list
A. Yes. Yes, we do.
Q. How does someone make it on to that list? Is it simply when there's a court injunction in place or would you place someone on that list simply because you thought that they'd behaved in such a way which would indicate that they were private and were unlikely to want to be photographed?
A. No, a "no shoot list" would be placed with someone that would regularly with regard to a court situation, a legal situation. Absolutely. I mean, it's no good trying to give publicity or someone courting publicity if they're going to turn around the next day I mean, not even at a photo call would we even enter into a situation with someone that is not sure whether they want the publicity. It's not worth running the risk. It's a purely commercial decision.
Q. All right. Mr Morgan was asked whether he would provide a copy of his "no shoot list". Sir, would you like a LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, I'm quite interested in this and I'm very interested in what you said about photographers not knowing where they stand. First of all, Mr Lyons, I wonder whether you would be prepared, confidentially, I wouldn't necessarily publish it if you didn't want me to, to provide us with a copy of your "no shoot list".
A. Yeah, absolutely, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. And the second thing is: do you think photographers would value some other guidance to make it rather clearer where everybody stood?
A. Oh, look, I've been campaigning for this for some time throughout the media, sir. Yes, absolutely, because I also think that photography and historically we live in a world of celebrity and several celebrities need it and want it, and very few certainly don't want it. So you don't know from one day to the other whether they're going to want it that day or they wake up the next day and say, "This is a private moment", or "Come into my house and photograph me walking down the street". It is so ambiguous a situation, you don't know what is right and what is wrong. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, if you have suggestions as to what that might contain, you're perfectly at liberty to submit them in writing to me and I will consider them, in the context of the over-arching requirement that I have to deal with the customs, practice and ethics of the press.
A. Yeah, fine. You do understand where I'm coming from, sir, that on that situation, though? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I understand what you're saying.
A. Yes. MS PATRY HOSKINS Can I ask you about, please?
A. Yes.
Q. This is your website. I'm going to again quote from your book. You say: " is a huge priority for me. The site allows the public to upload their own pictures and take advantage of my skills as an agent and a salesman to make them top dollar and avoid them getting ripped off. The potential is there for to be a much better business than Big Pictures. It is the future and I'm putting a lot of thought and money into it, although the business is self-funding, as was Big when I started it." So that's obviously considered to be a key part of your business?
A. Look, is a new media celeb could you hear?
Q. Yes, I can hear you.
A. Yeah, it is a celebrity breaking news site at the foremost. It is like any another online celebrity publisher, but yes, with regard to whether it be the BBC or whether it be News International or whether it be Associated Newspapers, everyone has affility [sic]. We have a brand where we are an agent to the public for pictures, whether it be a news picture, an animal picture, a celebrity picture, any picture that's saleable around the world, whereas most other media companies say, "Send your picture in and we'll publish them", whether it be a big news story on Sky News or the BBC. We act as an agent for the public, for instance if you're in the right place at the right time, you're in the right place at the right time and you get a picture that is saleable, yes.
Q. It might be said by some that encouraging members of the public to snap out their phones and take a picture of a celebrity encourages or may encourage invasions of privacy. What steps does your agency take to ensure that photographs are not taken in a way which either invaded someone's privacy or harassed
A. Before the pictures okay. As people are uploading, there is very specific terms and conditions, which you will have had sent to the court by my personal assistant, on the terms and conditions of what's on the site. If we have any doubt of any picture that comes in that is in any way that we would find unethical or suspicious in any way, which I think on occasions has happened, we have then phoned the particular supplier, taken the details of what was the picture, where was it taken, under what circumstances, and then made decisions and made several decisions, and also the copyright background of the picture, and made several decisions with the team that looks over that on a regular basis on the site and the sales director. So that is a commonplace that it is checked.
Q. All right. Mr Lyons, is there anything that you wish to add? Those are all my questions for you.
A. Oh, I'd just like to go into the smaller deal, and I can make a written submission to sir on the situation, but I think I want to make it quite clear that, you know, what we touched on earlier about one day a celebrity will want their privacy and then the next day it will be up for sale is a great worry within the industry, and many names that have appeared, from what I can gather, before you have been in situations where they regularly will take money from either a photographer or an agent around the world if they feel they're in a money-making situation but also a situation to use the paparazzi as a huge PR tool. You know, paparazzi in America is regularly used by management and it's regularly used by publicity agents to boost someone's profile, and I think that where we are here in the United Kingdom is it is all over the place in terms of what can we do, what can't we do? Can someone have their day one day and all of a sudden get a legal letter the next day, which I think is totally wrong. I also think that celebrities use these situations for their own self gain on a regular basis, and I think that there's two sides to every story, which I hope this Inquiry looks at in great detail. MS PATRY HOSKINS Thank you. Sir, unless you had any questions? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I have one question. I appreciate the terms and conditions on your website will allow you to filter out photographs that you believe offend the code or your
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON view of code. But is there anything on the website which explains to would-be photographers what they can and can't do or should and shouldn't do?
A. Yes, absolutely there is. There's a page on what they should and shouldn't do, sir, on the site. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. Thank you very much indeed and thank you for making yourself available in the evening to give evidence to me in the morning. Thank you very much.
A. Thank you. MS PATRY HOSKINS Sir, I understand that we need a couple of minutes simply to ensure that the video-link is switched off and that the feed is switched back to some technical explanation I don't really understand. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON We'll have a couple of minutes. MS PATRY HOSKINS I also need to before you rise ask that you read in two statements, if I can. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. MS PATRY HOSKINS The first is the second statement of Mark Thomson, which was received by the Inquiry at the end of last week, and the statement of Patricia Owens. Can they be formally read into the Inquiry? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Certainly. Before I rise, I'll just deal with a matter that Mr White's solicitors raised. You are, of course, correct. It is an error that you were not excluded from the fact that you were in the list of those who appeared before the Administrative Court and the ruling will be amended accordingly. MR WHITE Thank you very much. (10.34 am) (A short break) (10.38 am) MR JAY The next witness is Mr Ian Edmondson, please. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MR IAN WILLIAM EDMONDSON (sworn) Questions by MR JAY MR JAY First of all, Mr Edmondson, your full name, please, for the Inquiry.
A. Ian William Edmondson.
Q. Thank you. You provided a witness statement to the Inquiry which is currently in draft. It bears the number 60267. It's under your tab 1. There's a statement of truth: "I believe the facts in this witness statement are true." And room for you to sign and date it. Are you prepared to sign and date this statement so that it's formally your evidence to this Inquiry?
A. Absolutely, yes.
Q. Thank you very much. We'll ask you to do that once you've completed your evidence. Before we deal with the matters which are specifically the subject matter of your statement, could we deal briefly with your career in newspapers?
A. Yes.
Q. Starting in regional newspapers, then moving to the News of the World first in 1995, but could you take it on from there, please?
A. Sorry, from 1995?
Q. Please.
A. 1995 I joined the News of the World, eventually became staff, as a staff reporter. I left around 2000 to join the People as number three on the news desk, then became number two, then number one, and about 2004, November 2004, I returned to the News of the World as number two on the news desk and then a year later I became head of news, news editor, so that would be about November 2005.
Q. Thank you very much.
A. Thank you.
Q. And you left in 2011; is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. The first matter which we ask you to address was the question of the emails, paragraphs 81 to 83 of the judgment of Mr Justice Eady. We can turn up those paragraphs of the judgment. It's under tab 10 in our bundle. I'm afraid this version isn't paginated. If you could find, please, paragraph 81, you'll see that these are the emails that Mr Thurlbeck sent to Woman A and Woman B on 2 April, which was between the two stories in the News of the World. The first story was on 30 March 2008 and the second story on 6 April 2008. In order that we understand the background to this, were you involved with the publication of the first story on 30 March?
A. I wasn't, no. I was on holiday that week.
Q. Thank you. So you come back from holiday. Mr Thurlbeck's evidence to the Inquiry this is under tab 12 at page 92, which is the transcript of his evidence he said first of all at line 10, page 92 the question was: "Can I understand, please, what your evidence to this Inquiry is about these emails? Is it your evidence that you didn't draft the emails? "Answer: That's true, yes. "Question: Who did?" Then you can see the answer: "The it was somebody on the news desk who had been on holiday when the part one story was broken." He didn't give the name at that point. Line 23: "So it's true to say that those emails were dictated to me." And then later on at page 93, he was pressed to give the identity of the person on the news desk. At line 17 the question was: "You see, you could always ask him or require him to give evidence. Do you understand, Mr Thurlbeck, where this might be leading? "Answer: All right, it was the news editor, who at the time was Mr Edmondson." Slightly later on after lunch, page 1 of the afternoon transcript, when he was asked at line 8 a specific question about a particular sentence in the email, the question was: "That's not your language, is it, rather Mr Edmondson's? "Answer: I can't remember. I can't remember now this particular phrase." So that, as it were, frames the issue.
A. Mm-hm.
Q. What is your evidence, Mr Edmondson, about who drafted these emails?
A. I don't recall these emails being sent at all, so as for who drafted them, I wasn't in the habit of drafting emails, or I think he uses the world "dictating" emails, so that's what concerns me about this.
Q. Right. Is it your evidence that you did not draft these emails or is it your evidence that you can't remember whether you did or did not draft the emails?
A. I can't remember at all. I can't remember if anything about these emails being sent. The usual process of trying to contact someone would be telephone, knock on their door. An email would be some way down the line, so no, so I can't remember having any involvement with the emails.
Q. So might you have drafted these emails?
A. No. Not at all. It wouldn't be something I mean, I look at the language that you refer to here where it says: "Please take a breath before you get angry with me." It just doesn't seem to be my type of language that I would use. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You understand the point, I'm sure, Mr Edmondson. These are emails which may reflect a culture of trying to persuade let me just put it neutrally somebody to say something when they don't want to, which is relevant to the terms of my Inquiry. I'm not trying to revisit Mr Justice Eady's statement.
A. Sure. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON He's done it and the damages have been paid and that's the end of that, but I am very keen to understand what's going on here.
A. Mm-hm. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So I'm sure you will appreciate that it's not just this particular email; it's the thinking behind the email
A. Sure. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON which might legitimately not unfairly be described as blackmail, without using that term in a non-technical way, which I'm trying to get at.
A. Okay. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That's the reason for the questions, not because I'm revisiting this litigation.
A. I totally understand, sir. I can't specifically remember the email, but I can happily talk through what would have happened that week. I mean, there is no doubt that Neville would have been trying or any number of reporters would have been trying to get hold of the women, but as for how he did it, that would have been such a small part of that week. MR JAY Certainly. But I think the question is more directed as to whether you had any involvement in how he did it, in particular whether you, for example, might have asked him to contact the women?
A. I've got no doubt whatsoever that I would have asked him to contact the women. In fact, with Neville's experience, I probably wouldn't have even needed to ask him, it would have been so second nature.
Q. Were you senior to him?
A. Yes.
Q. So it's possible you asked him; on the other hand, it's possible he did it on his own initiative, is that fair?
A. It's more likely that I would have asked him.
Q. Okay. Is it possible that you would have given him some instruction as to what to say to the women in general terms?
A. Someone of his seniority, very, very unlikely.
Q. Because the gist of the emails was an invitation to put it very neutrally, perhaps too modestly to the women to give their story, but if they didn't, then it was open season, the photographs would be or might be published.
A. Yes.
Q. Was that something you might have been involved in?
A. The mechanics of what we were doing that week, absolutely, I would be, yes.
Q. To be clear, the offer that was being put to the women, namely "Come forward, give us your story and you'll be anonymous, on the one hand, but if you don't co-operate, we, the News of the World, will do what we like with the photographs on the other hand", was that sort of choice something which you would have been involved with in putting to the women?
A. No. Very unlikely. Very, very unlikely.
Q. Why do you say that, Mr Edmondson?
A. Well, for a number of reasons. That is not the sort of language I would have used. Ultimately, it wouldn't be my responsibility or decision what we do in the newspaper. So for me to say, as a news editor, or even to take it, for example, Neville Thurlbeck as the chief reporter, it's not his decision to make those statements. What happens in the newspaper is down to the editor. That week it was the deputy editor, because the editor was on holiday, so even though from memory the editor was on holiday and editing from holiday, but so these sort of decisions aren't made by a news editor or head of news or chief reporter or senior reporter.
Q. I think there are only two possibilities here, logically. Either Mr Thurlbeck made the decision on his own initiative to contact the women and to express himself in a particular way, or you did. I don't think anybody's saying that the editor had some or the deputy editor had some role in this. Do you understand that?
A. I do understand, yes.
Q. All I'm trying to ascertain is whether it's possible regardless of the terminology used, whether the general message which was sought to be got across to the women, that that was a message which you were involved in, in the sense of part conceiving. Do you understand that?
A. Yeah, I do.
Q. Might you have been?
A. Yes, I might have.
Q. You might have been?
A. Well, I can't remember, but you're trying to say would I have been part of the process to ask the women to give us an interview? Yes, absolutely. But the terminology that you are using, no.
Q. Well, what about the putting aside the terminology, which might well have been Mr Thurlbeck's
A. Sure.
Q. but obviously no view about that is being expressed, the general message, in other words, to the women: "You co-operate with us, we'll pay you some money and you'll be anonymous; you don't co-operate and your photographs will be splashed on the newspaper" was that a message which you think you might have contributed to? In other words, encouraged Mr Thurlbeck to get across to the women?
A. The latter part, no. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Let me just make it abundantly clear, because I'm very keen to understand this. The women wouldn't know who was responsible for what goes in the newspaper?
A. That's right. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON The women would only respond to the communications that they received. What is your evidence about the propriety of this type of email?
A. I don't like its tone. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Would you ever have allied yourself with this type of approach to any witness in any circumstances?
A. No. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So there is no question of your recalling or not recalling, because it doesn't really matter.
A. That's right. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Because if you'd never ever do it, it can't possibly be you.
A. Quite. MR JAY Thank you. We heard from Mr Myler that there was no come-back on Mr Thurlbeck after the litigation, was there?
A. To the best of my knowledge.
Q. Can I move on now to the topic of Mr Webb.
A. Yeah. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Before do you that, does that surprise you?
A. Yes, it does, yes. Yes. If the upon reflection, after the case with Mr Eady and Mosley, then yes. I would have expected and I can't remember the first time I saw these emails, from memory I don't even think I saw them some time after the Mosley case, so you would have expected that, yeah. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Did you give evidence in this
A. I didn't, no. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I mean, as you read the emails now, what's your reaction to them?
A. I think they're a threat. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I think we can probably agree about that. MR JAY Mr Webb now. This is paragraph 3 of your statement at our page 60268, where you say you instructed Mr Webb to carry out investigative work on quite a few occasions. No fixed pattern. Might have sent him on a job for a week or so. The sort of jobs, Mr Edmondson, that he was sent on, could you assist us with that?
A. In general terms, surveillance.
Q. Yes?
A. Watching A and B, attempting to prove stories, that would include following people that we suspected of being involved in a particular story. Can't recall specifics, but in general terms, that's what he would do.
Q. Mr Webb's evidence on this issue, under your tab 16, it's his witness statement, page 51511. Paragraph 12: "The journalist tasking me with an assignment would normally only say something to the effect that there had been a tip, or a source has said, or the news desk has information that certain parties are having an affair, and typically the instructions which followed would be to keep one of the parties under surveillance to establish whether there was any truth in the information." Is that correct, Mr Edmondson?
A. It is.
Q. Insofar as it relates to the news desk?
A. It is, yes.
Q. So was it usually then to ascertain whether certain parties were having an affair?
A. That could be one of the things, yes.
Q. I think the question was: was it usually because one of the parties or both parties were having an affair?
A. I can't remember if that was the majority, but that would certainly be one of the things. He would also look at drug dealers, a number of criminal issues. It probably would be fair to say affairs would be the majority. I don't know what the numbers would be.
Q. In relation to drug dealers and criminal issues, you would say there's a clear public interest
A. Of course.
Q. in pursuing that. Let's for the purposes of argument agree with that.
A. Yes.
Q. But in relation to ascertaining whether certain parties are having an affair, what was the public interest in exploring that issue?
A. Well, it was a case-by-case basis, so depending on who the subject matter was, we would decide yes, we're going to pursue this story, or no we're not.
Q. What factors would be taken into account?
A. Cuttings. There's been a number of examples of false public image, so if someone was projecting themselves in media as wholesome, faithful, would never cheat on their wife, and then doing something else in private, then yes, I would imagine that we would proceed on that. There's been a number of occasions post Mosley where we looked specifically at people like that. Not as in pre-tip, but once we had the tip, we would judge the subject matter on what they have said in the past and how they'd behaved. I can think of a number of examples.
Q. Can you apply a different approach to politicians on the one hand and celebrity on the other?
A. No.
Q. Or was the approach reasonably the same?
A. It was reasonably the same. I can't think of a major difference. Politicians, you would often look in their election brochures where they would talk about the family values and how much they put into that, so that would be one contributing factor.
Q. Of course, in relation to celebrities, there's no such analogous brochure, is there?
A. No
Q. What are you looking for
A. There are analogous brochures. There's interviews in glossy magazines, TV, inviting cameras into their home, parading their children, pictures with their wife. In one particular case, which I don't particularly want to go into, to name, talking about their wife in great detail, that they would never do such a thing, and then to find something that they are actually doing, that would form a public interest.
Q. I can see in that last example there may be an argument if celebrity A makes a particular express statement and then it's contradicted by his or her behaviour.
A. Yeah.
Q. But in the other cases you've given, is there an express statement or is there just an implied statement in your view?
A. Post Mosley, you had to be very, very careful on who you looked at, so.
Q. Pre-Mosley then?
A. Pre-Mosley we looked at things, but I don't think as carefully as we did post Mosley.
Q. Was Mr Webb in your view a journalist or was he a private detective?
A. He carried out journalistic roles for me, but you could argue both ways. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, he wasn't a journalist, was he?
A. Well, he was, because he carried out journalistic tasks. Pre-Derek Webb, and this is something I don't think that's come across so far, we would use reporters and photographers to carry out surveillance. Particularly at the News of the World where a lot of our stories were looking at people, using sources. Journalists and photographers weren't particularly good at doing that, and Derek Webb was trained, he was, I think from memory, 25 years with the police, and he was trained in surveillance, so his skills were very useful. So that was one thing that a journalist would be expected to do at the paper. So he was carrying out a role that would have been given to a reporter or a photographer, or in certain cases both. MR JAY I'll come back to that issue but what I'd like to do is approach the issue in this way, first of all by inviting your attention to Mr Webb's evidence, which is under tab 18 in the bundle you have in front of you at page 119. In order that we can frame this in terms of the chronology, Mr Webb left the News of the World for about 18 months in 2007, but he returned in 2009, after certain matters were resolved. Line 5, page 119 so we're in 2009: "Question: Who made the approach this time, you or them? "Answer: I phoned up [so Mr Webb phoned up]. I phoned up Neville Thurlbeck and told him the result of what had taken place but I wanted some time out until Christmas and that was it, and he told me to contact him early in the new year. "Question: So I presume you did contact him? "Answer: I contacted him in the early part of the new year, I think it was either first or second week in January of that 2009, and he told me that there's been a little bit of a hiccup, we need you to actually terminate your private investigator's licence and that the bosses require you to get join the NUJ. "Question: Right. So two things. You had to relinquish your licence? "Answer: In fact, can I just say that I say 'relinquish my licence'. I'd actually let it drop throughout when I was the previous year when I was actually on bail. So it had actually dropped from the system anyway. "Question: But did Mr Thurlbeck know that? "Answer: No." Reading page 120, line 4: "Question: Okay, I'll tell you the two and then you can tell me the third. Secondly, had you to get an NUJ card. And thirdly? "Answer: Yes. Thirdly, I had to change my email address. "Question: Right. Which was at the time? "Answer: I'd changed it from Silent Shadow Services to Shadow Watch. Do you see all of that?
A. I do.
Q. There was evidence from I think it was Mr Myler that private detectives or the use of private detectives was banned at the News of the World in 2007. Now, did you know that last fact?
A. Yes, I was aware of that. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Is it changed to Derek Webb Media? Changed from Shadow Watch to Derek Webb Media?
A. Yes. MR JAY The bit of a hiccup which is referred to here, did you know about this hiccup?
A. I don't really know what you mean by a hiccup. This is not my evidence that I've given.
Q. No, sorry, it's Mr Webb. It's at line 14 at page 119.
A. Yeah.
Q. "There's been a bit of a hiccup." What Mr Webb is effectively saying is we have to change nominally, at least, your title from private investigator to journalist.
A. Oh, I see.
Q. We're going to give you an NUJ card but in reality you're doing exactly the same thing and we're going to pretend now that you aren't what you really are, and we're going to call you Derek Webb Media. Did you know all of this, Mr Edmondson?
A. I didn't know he had a private investigator's licence. I didn't know that you had to have a private investigator's licence, so that's news to me. I do remember having conversations with the editor and I think the managing editor about asking him to join the NUJ, yes.
Q. Did you understand that the reason for him joining the NUJ was in effect to enable News of the World to employ him, because they couldn't employ him on the basis that he was a private detective?
A. Yes, that's right.
Q. So everybody would pretend that he wasn't a private detective but a journalist; did you know that part of it?
A. I don't think he was pretending to be a journalist, but I get your point.
Q. But you must have known, therefore, from the evidence you've just given, that this was all just a sham, wasn't it?
A. I think it was, yes.
Q. Because you said in your statement in relation to what journalists do this is at the bottom of page 60268, the last paragraph there: "If the newspaper wanted to conduct surveillance, it would generally use a reporter and/or photographer." Then you say: "Reporters and photographers are not trained in surveillance That's true, isn't it?
A. It is true, yes.
Q. and so are sometimes unable to remain unobserved by the subject. In those circumstances, Mr Webb was a more suitable person to use." The reason being that he was trained in surveillance and he was really a private detective. All that's correct, isn't it?
A. It is correct.
Q. Was Mr Myler aware of this pretence, really?
A. Yes.
Q. And Mr Crone?
A. Yes to the best of my knowledge, shall I say. I certainly know that Mr Myler and the managing editor, who I believe was Stuart Kuttner, was aware. I think Mr Crone was aware because he was aware of Mr Webb's employment. Because during that absenteeism of 18 months, he was liaising with Mr Webb's lawyer.
Q. Thank you. May I ask you now about the Ms Harris/Mr Lewis surveillance which I think you were uncomfortable about, is that right?
A. It is fair.
Q. Why was that?
A. I didn't see it as a story for the newspaper.
Q. Because?
A. It wouldn't have got in the newspaper.
Q. No. I mean the real reason for the surveillance, as you yourself say in the statement at 60270, level with the lower hole punch
A. Sorry, where are we?
Q. 60270. I hope that's what I said earlier, rather than some different page number. Level with the lower hole punch, the paragraph or just above it: "My response to Mr Crone ", are you with me?
A. Yes, I'm with you now.
Q. was to express very considerable surprise and to say that I could not begin to see why the newspaper would want to run such a story." You've just told us that.
A. Yeah.
Q. "Tom Crone's response was that he accepted that, namely that it was unlikely material for inclusion in the newspaper as a story, but told me that the main reason to investigate was a that it could provide the newspaper with good leverage against the two individuals."
A. Correct.
Q. And that was your concern, presumably?
A. Yes.
Q. I suppose your concern as well was who was going to pay for this, was it going to come out of your budget or come out of the legal department's budget?
A. Yeah, there was a great debate at the time of where budgets were coming from, because I think the division from news to pictures, features, politics, et cetera, had been split up and we were under great pressure to keep within budget, so I made the point to Tom to say, "I hope you're paying for this".
Q. Thank you.
A. I can't remember who paid for it in the end.
Q. The McCann diary story. May I start by reminding us all of Mr Myler's version or rather, his evidence, pardon me. Tab 8, page 89. This is part of the transcript of his evidence given on 14 December last year. Particularly at line 20, I think, but we can skim read a little bit earlier on, but can I just try and get to the heart of this. The question was: but did Mr Edmondson make it clear to you that he had made it clear to Mr Mitchell that he had the whole diary and was going to cause extracts from it to be published in the News of the World? "Answer: That's what he led me to believe, yes. "Question: Because reading the transcript, and this is something which you didn't, of course, see at the time, the transcript of the conversation And then we identified the transcript.
A. Mm-hm.
Q. Or maybe it's not necessary to go on, because we're then trying to interpret the transcript, about which you give clear evidence. But the gist of it is the bit I read out between lines 20 and 24. Can I seek to deal with your evidence carefully in this way: first of all, you make it clear that your only conversation with Mr Mitchell was on Friday, 12 September 2008; is that right?
A. That is right.
Q. Recording the conversation, what is your evidence in relation to that? I think you say it's standard practice?
A. Yes, it was.
Q. Were you given an instruction to do so on this occasion?
A. I was, yes.
Q. By?
A. Colin Myler.
Q. Do you know why you were given that instruction?
A. Reinforcing "please tape it" and it was standard practice to tape those types of phone calls and I might even say that to a reporter, even though it would be standard, but you would reinforce it.
Q. But was it standard practice to make it clear to your interlocutor that the call was being recorded?
A. No.
Q. And why not?
A. You wouldn't get, in general terms, a true conversation.
Q. Because?
A. They would play to the camera.
Q. Right. Do you feel that it's entirely a frank and honest procedure to conduct an interview with someone but not make it clear that it's being recorded?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. Because?
A. Accuracy.
Q. Obviously it gives you concrete evidence subject to interpreting what's being said, one understands that, but is there not an element of deception or maybe I can put it slightly lower than that, because that, I think, is a slightly sort of sinister tone, but at least an element of misleading the person you're speaking to that you are recording them and therefore it might be used against them?
A. I think that's fair.
Q. But your feeling is, well, if you did make it clear that it was being recorded, then they would do what?
A. I would imagine freeze up, not talk to you freely, not talk to you honestly. They might not want to talk to you at all. A number of things.
Q. I can see that they might not want to talk to you at all, but you think if we did make it clear to them that they were being taped, there would be more incentive to be dishonest during the course of the interview?
A. I would say that's fair, yes.
Q. Have there been occasions when you've had conversations with people which haven't been recorded?
A. I'm sure there has been, but certainly not on a call that is paramount to a story, and something that might be used later on as evidence.
Q. The third question which was put to you in a written notice, which we see at the bottom of page 60272, the question was this: "During the course of that conversation [of course the conversation with Mr Mitchell] did you make it clear to Mr Mitchell that the News of the World had obtained a copy of Dr Kate McCann's personal diary from a source who had obtained it from the Portuguese police and that the paper intended to write a story based on that diary quoting verbatim from it? If so, please identify with reference to the transcript of your conversation where you made it clear." And then your answer, please, Mr Edmondson?
A. I didn't make it clear.
Q. And you say because you were given express instructions by Mr Myler?
A. Correct.
Q. When did he give you those instructions? Can you recall?
A. From memory, at a meeting on Thursday of that week.
Q. Why did he give you those instructions?
A. I attended a meeting with Mr Myler and Tom Crone where we discussed this story. I think we got the story to a point where I was prepared to present it to Tom and Colin, the editor. Colin gave sorry, I beg your pardon, Tom gave his legal view, which I'm told I'm not allowed to repeat, but which dismayed, shall I say, Mr Myler. So he decided to ask me to make a call to Mr Mitchell, not make it clear what we had, tell him in general terms, basically make it very woolly. I think someone previously used the word "ambiguous", and that is absolutely spot on what he wanted.
Q. So the preferred outcome for the end point of the conversation with Mr Mitchell would be what?
A. To give him the impression that we were running a story, but not tell him specifically what story, certainly don't tell him that we were in possession of the complete diaries, as we understood. There had been extracts in the diaries of the diaries in Portuguese papers which had been translated into the English papers, but certainly not to the extent that we had. He was frightened that if Clarence knew what we had, he might take action.
Q. Well, he would do was the fear that he would, at the very least, tell his clients, the McCanns, what was going on?
A. Correct.
Q. And they would certainly get back to Mr Myler by phone?
A. Correct.
Q. Or make an application for an injunction to stop the News of the World publishing? Is that what it amount to?
A. That's exactly what it would.
Q. What was the purpose, though, of having an ambiguous or woolly conversation, as you've described? What was the intention? That you would have Mr Mitchell's part assent? Could you put it in your own words?
A. Yeah, it would be in order to blame Clarence Mitchell that he hadn't acted properly upon instructions.
Q. I see. And was that part of Mr Myler's thinking?
A. That was his thinking.
Q. Was it Mr Crone's thinking?
A. No.
Q. So you presumably were uneasy in carrying out these instructions?
A. Yes. I had an alternative, which I presented to Mr Myler. He was the only one to have Gerry McCann's mobile number, and up until that point, he had a reasonable or very good relationship with him, and I thought he could argue that we could work collaboratively to get the diaries in the paper, and that was my suggestion.
Q. And what was Mr Myler's reaction to that suggestion?
A. "No".
Q. Because?
A. I think he believed, from memory, and I can't be sure, that that wouldn't be a successful outcome.
Q. I understand. So you were sent out to make this call and presumably in the light of the evidence you're giving to us, you felt uneasy by what you were being asked to do?
A. Yeah, I'd developed a very good relationship with Clarence and I liked him a lot. I felt very uneasy.
Q. Why did you do it then?
A. I was told to.
Q. Do you feel that this was a sort of one-off, because we're looking at this one example, or do you feel it's part of a general sort of system or culture or practice, however you want to put it, and this is just one exemplification of that?
A. I must admit I can't remember an occasion of this ilk. I'm sure there was occasions where an editor would want you to effectively deceive someone, yes.
Q. So there were other occasions of deception, to use your word, but this was a particularly egregious one, is that a fair way of putting it?
A. I think it is, yes.
Q. What about other areas of dodgy or unethical conduct which you feel you were being asked to, as it were, participate in or execute? Were there such cases in your view?
A. I can't recall instantly, but if you've made your point to the editor and it was ignored, he then asked you to do something, then you did it.
Q. Can I ask you, please, about issues of culture, because you were at the News of the World, you've told us, from November 2004. There had been an earlier period, but we're looking at the period 2004 to 2011. Did the culture change on the arrival of Mr Myler?
A. It did, yes. I think the culture changed throughout newspapers at that time for all the obvious reasons. We suddenly got seminars on the PCC, whereas they weren't around before. We were given legal briefings. Everything appeared to become a lot more formal.
Q. Yes. Appeared to become a lot more formal?
A. Sorry, did, I beg your pardon.
Q. That wasn't intentional.
A. No, it wasn't.
Q. That form of words. Okay. In your own words, then, I know it's difficult to identify a culture, but insofar as you can, the period November 2004 to January 2007, which was Mr Myler's arrival, how would you describe it or define it?
A. In what way, sorry?
Q. Well, in terms of particularly ethical or unethical conduct or whether there was, for example, bullying at the paper. Can you touch on both those issues?
A. Well, I think it's a matter of record mistakes were made, and I suppose we all learn from mistakes and we tend to learn more from losing than winning, but that's when Mr Myler turned up. He was there to perhaps correct mistakes that had been made in the past.
Q. Yes, but did he succeed?
A. Certainly. On what I believe you're referring to.
Q. I'll make it clear, Mr Edmondson, so that there's no sort of mystery about this.
A. Okay.
Q. My questions are not directed to the issue of phone hacking.
A. Right.
Q. They cannot be directed to the issue of phone hacking.
A. Okay.
Q. So put that entirely out of your mind. There are various clear reasons why we simply cannot go there.
A. Yes.
Q. So we're everywhere else apart from phone hacking. Do you follow me?
A. I do, yes.
Q. So my having made that clear, where are we on culture?
A. Culture, I would say, the sea change was post Mosley. That's when we really felt a big big difference. Pre that, nowhere near nowhere near the extent. We looked at stories that much more. We I think people have said this in the past and I will reaffirm this, for every one story you would get in the paper, nine would be thrown away.
Q. Thank you. What about a culture of bullying, in particular before January 2007; was there one?
A. I think you know I have an employment tribunal claim against News International. If you want me to talk about that, I will do, happily, but I'm sure that will cross over into that.
Q. It may do, but I don't think that stops the line of inquiry.
A. Sure.
Q. Because there's a difference here between those matters and the ongoing criminal investigation?
A. I'll be happy to answer.
Q. So
A. The answer's yes.
Q. First of all, where did it emanate from? If anywhere or anyone?
A. Everything emanates from the editor.
Q. Okay. How did it manifest itself?
A. The culture?
Q. Yes.
A. From the editor. Every part of the paper is dictated and controlled by the editor.
Q. Yes.
A. I think in the past you've spoken to witnesses where you've asked them questions as to why they haven't done certain things and they're at a senior level. Well, you don't do anything unless you are told to do something.
Q. But to make it clear then, the culture of bullying emanated from the editor?
A. Yes.
Q. Is that what your evidence is?
A. Yes.
Q. Then the question was: how does it manifest itself? So what did the editor do?
A. I don't really want to go into specifics.
Q. Okay. I understand your diffidence and maybe
A. Sorry. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You've heard Mr Driscoll's evidence, or possibly seen it.
A. I didn't I heard parts of it. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON He gives lots of examples. Does that chime with your experience?
A. He was in a different department to me, sport. I can only think of what I went through. There are probably aspects of it that chime with me, yes. MR JAY I think I can ask you this question well, I could press you further, but I can see why you're diffident, Mr Edmondson, so I'm not going to. But what were the effects of a culture of bullying, assuming well, it is your evidence there was such a culture. But what were the effects of it in terms of the overall product, what was being written? Did it have an effect?
A. I can't say that I could distinguish between the two. If there wasn't a culture, then you wouldn't see an alternative product.
Q. I see. You might be able to unless you say Mr Myler was also part of a culture of bullying. I mean, was he?
A. Yes.
Q. Right. Sir, I see your point. But you worked at a paper before, the Sunday People, for four years. Was there a culture of bullying there?
A. Nowhere near, nowhere near. There were elements of. It was a considerably smaller paper and I think that was a contributing factor.
Q. And of course when you were much more junior, you were working in regional newspapers and I imagine there wasn't a culture of bullying?
A. There wasn't a culture at all.
Q. So you are able to compare, to some extent, what happens when there is and there isn't a culture of bullying?
A. Mm-hm.
Q. Obviously there are emotional and psychological implications.
A. Yes.
Q. That goes without saying, I'm not addressing those. I'm addressing what we see in the newspaper as a result.
A. Mm.
Q. How, if at all, does it affect what we see in the newspaper as a result?
A. I don't know how you can compare local papers to national newspapers. I think that's a very unfair comparison. They work at a different pace and there isn't the same pressures that you're under.
Q. The effect of the pressures then, let's use a more neutral term and strip away bullying, what do the effect of the pressures have both on news gathering and on what you write? Can you help us there?
A. Specifically, I'm not sure I understand where you're going with this.
Q. If people are put under pressure, sometimes what they do is less than optimal. I'm just giving a hypothetical example.
A. Sure.
Q. A very high level of abstraction and I'm not trying to put words in your mouth.
A. No. Totally understand, yes.
Q. Are you able to assist us?
A. I think in general terms, sir, it's a case of you will do as you are told and you live in that environment.
Q. Does it amount to this: you do as you're told, and sometimes you have to do things you are uncomfortable about doing?
A. Yes, absolutely. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And that's so even if you're the news editor?
A. Yes, absolutely. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I got into trouble for thinking that seniority made a difference earlier in this Inquiry.
A. It's not a democracy at a newspaper. Autocratic. MR JAY Yes. Thank you very much, Mr Edmondson. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Mr Edmondson I'd like to ask you something, please. I don't want there to be any doubt about it. Could you go to tab 8, it's page back to the McCann story 85 to 88 in the bottom right-hand corner. Mr Myler is giving evidence about this all-important conversation. I'm just going to read a bit of it, because I want to know precisely what you're saying.
A. Okay. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON "Question: But you were of course aware that if Dr Kate McCann had not given her consent to the publication of her personal diary, she would be outraged by the publication. You were aware of that, weren't you? "Answer: I wouldn't have published if I'd thought that she hadn't been made aware of it. "Question: And Mr Edmondson was telling you that he'd obtained consent on what day? "Answer: Well, it was absolutely clear from the Friday to the Saturday that that assurance had been given to him and given again to me." At the bottom of the page: "Question: Given the importance of all this, why not just pick up the phone yourself and find out? "Answer: Mr Mitchell was a very experienced media spokesperson, absolutely. I had no reason to believe that what Mr Edmondson was telling me wasn't correct. "Question: Did Mr Edmondson tell you clearly that he had told Mr Mitchell that a copy of the diary had been obtained via the Portuguese police, had been translated by you, and that sections of that translation were going to be published in the News of the World as opposed to the News of the World simply using publications which had already been made in Portugal to base a story? "Answer: No, no, no. My understanding was that it was very clear that Mr Edmondson had explained what we had because I think the extracts that appeared in Portugal were very minor, limited. I don't know how much they used. But there was a I think there's a transcript in here of the conversation where he explains that he was trying to get me to go big with it, and I think in the course of that conversation I think Mr Mitchell had said that he'd vaguely remembered when they had been used in part in the Portuguese press and that they were obviously very selective. "Question: Yes, but did Mr Edmondson make it clear to you that he had made it clear to Mr Mitchell that he had the whole diary and was going to cause extracts from it to be published in the News of the World? "Answer: That's what he led me to believe, yes." Did you lead Mr Myler to believe that you had made it clear to Mr Mitchell that you had the whole diary and were going to cause extracts from it to be published in the News of the World?
A. No. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. Thank you very much. MR JAY Sir, may we break for about ten minutes because I haven't had the chance to speak to the next witness? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, it's a very convenient moment. (11.30 am) (A short break) (11.45 am) MR JAY Sir, the next witness is Heather Mills, please. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MS HEATHER ANNE MILLS (affirmed) Questions by MR JAY MR JAY Thank you very much, Ms Mills. Make yourself comfortable, please. You've given us your full name. You've also provided the Inquiry very helpfully with two witness statements. The first is dated 20 January of this year, the second is dated 6 February, and the second statement contains an exhibit, which is there for background, as you've told me beforehand, and also a DVD which we're going to look at in a moment. But this is your formal evidence to the Inquiry; is that right?
A. That's correct.
Q. May I deal first of all, Ms Mills, with the voicemail issue which is the subject matter of your first statement? You give us the context and background at paragraph 4 of your first statement, which is in early 2001 you were on holiday with your then boyfriend, Sir Paul McCartney, in India. There was an earthquake in Gujarat on 26 January 2001. Hearing of the plight of the victims, and particularly those who had lost limbs, you explained to Sir Paul McCartney that you very much wanted to help. You'd previously been involved in the distribution of over 27,000 limbs for amputees in former Yugoslavia and you were obviously in a position to help on this occasion. Paragraph 6, could you help us with that, please? You made contact with the then editor of Hello magazine, who was Mr Phil Hall, who was previously, I believe, the editor of the News of the World. When was that, approximately?
A. It was pretty soon after I got back from Gujarat from India, and heard the news of the Gujarat earthquake disaster, and as you said, with my previous experience helping new amputees psychologically and physically with having the limb, I'd had a relationship with Hello! magazine that every time we did a story, they would send a donation to a charity about my charity work. So I didn't know the editor or hadn't met him before, and contacted them and they said his name was Phil Hall. So I went for a meeting with him and he said that they would be happy to make a donation to the chosen charity, which was the Lions Club, in Gujarat, and Lions Club is an internationally known charity, and he said, "In return, we need some pictures on your visit and I will send along a photographer called Ken Lennox", so they offered a substantial figure for the charity, and I started to investigate what exactly was needed, medical equipment and prosthetic components, and then I said to my then partner that I would be going back. He wasn't happy about this, and we got into an argument, and I had to leave the house, so I went to stay at a friend's house in Middlesex, and turned my phone off, because he kept calling all the time and it was very stressful. In the morning, when I woke up, there were many messages, but they were all saved messages, which I didn't quite understand, because normally they wouldn't be, but I didn't think too much of it, I thought I must have pressed a wrong button, and there were about 25 messages all asking for forgiveness of what had happened, which I won't go into, and that would I come back. One of them said, you know, "Please forgive me" and sang a little ditty on the of one of his songs onto the voicemail.
Q. Yes.
A. So that afternoon I went back and all was forgiven.
Q. Can I be clear, Ms Mills. What sort of phone are we talking about here?
A. A mobile phone, probably Vodafone. I've had a number of phones since then, but usually stick with Vodafone, or most recently O2.
Q. Did you make any recording of any of those messages?
A. No. No. They were deleted. Pretty much straight away.
Q. So in point of time, we're probably talking, is this right, end of January or February 2001; is that correct?
A. Yes, that's correct.
Q. Can I ask you to look at paragraph 13 of your first statement.
A. Yes.
Q. Later that day that's the day of you returning you received a phone call from a former employee of the Trinity Mirror Group, but what did he or she say?
A. He said it was it was a former employee that I had had a number of conversations with over several years prior to meeting my then boyfriend, so when he called it wasn't a surprise because every time I'd done a charity event, they'd promoted it positively prior to me meeting my ex-husband, and he said, "Look, Heather, you know, we've heard that you and Paul have had an argument and I've just heard a message of him singing on the phone to you asking for forgiveness", and I said, "There is no way that you could know that unless you've been listening to my messages", and he laughed, and I said, "I promise you, if you report this story, even though it's true, you've obtained the information illegally and I will do something about it", and he never reported the story.
Q. Thank you. The individual concerned we cannot name because of ongoing police investigation. I'm asked to make it clear, and therefore I do, that the individual, a former employee of the Trinity Mirror Group, was not a Daily Mirror journalist or anybody working under the supervision of Mr Morgan. But it's clear from paragraph 14 that no story was published at that time. Can I move forward to paragraph 15 of your first statement, that on 19 October 2006 so now we are several years later Mr Morgan published in the Daily Mail an article with the headline "I'm sorry, Macca, for introducing you to this monster." The article chronicled Mr Morgan's claimed involvement in introducing you to Paul, and no doubt there are matters in this article with which you strongly disagree; is that right?
A. Yes. First of all, on the lighter note, he never introduced me to Paul. I never actually spoke to Paul at the Mirror awards event. Paul left a number of messages on my machine, and pursued me for three months, so Mr Morgan had absolutely nothing to do with the introduction.
Q. Thank you. There are other things no doubt in the article which you could deal with, but I'm going to move on to paragraph 16, to the voicemail issue. In the middle of that article, he writes: "Stories soon emerged that the marriage was in trouble. At one stage I was played a tape of a message Paul had left for Heather on her mobile phone." Then you say you weren't aware of this article at the time that's in 2006. "I am aware from family and friends, however, that Mr Morgan has over the years written many negative articles about me. The first time in fact that I came to be aware of this particular article relating to the voicemail was in 2011."
A. That's correct.
Q. So the questions, Ms Mills, are these: did you authorise Mr Morgan to access your voicemail?
A. Never.
Q. Did you authorise Mr Morgan to listen to your voicemail?
A. Never ever.
Q. And have you ever played to Mr Morgan or authorised him to listen to a recording of this or any other voicemail left on your messaging system?
A. Never. Never. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I think we need to go one stage further: have you ever done that in relation to anybody?
A. No. MR JAY Can I move forward in time from 2006 to 2010. This is paragraph 56 of your second statement, Ms Mills.
A. Mm-hm.
Q. You were shown evidence by officers of Operation Weeting that proves that private voicemail messages of you and your sister, Fiona, were hacked into.
A. Yes.
Q. The name of the hacker has been redacted out of your statement to preserve the integrity of the police investigation. Were you shown details, however, of PIN and PUK numbers?
A. Yes. We were shown my PIN numbers, PUK numbers over three different telephones over a period of five or six years.
Q. Did any of those PUK and PIN numbers relate to the Vodafone mobile phone which you were using in end of January, early February 2001?
A. I don't remember, because they only gave us them to look at and to confirm and then took it away. They wouldn't leave us with the evidence.
Q. Speaking more widely, and it will be my last question on this topic: did you have any reason for sharing a voicemail message with Mr Morgan?
A. No, never. I can't quite believe that he would even try and insinuate, a man that's written nothing but awful things about me for years, would absolutely relish in telling the court if I had personally played a voicemail message to him.
Q. Thank you. The rest of your first statement deals with the PCC and I'm going to come back to that, if I may, towards the end of your evidence, but I know you would like us to see a DVD, which is quite short, I've seen it myself. It's less than two and a half minutes long.
A. Yes.
Q. Which deals with your relations, if that's the right way of putting it, with paparazzi photographers. The DVD probably speaks for itself, but is there anything you want to say by way of introduction to it?
A. Yes. I was having a lot of harassment with my daughter and my family and friends from the paparazzi, and I had been assaulted by a particular paparazzi in a subway at Brighton beach and I reported it to the police and they said, "You really need to get constant harassment and constant abuse evidence", so I said, "Well, what, I have to go around with a video camera?" and they said, "Whatever it takes, because we have no strength to do anything. They can stand legally outside your door all day if it's a public footpath". So I then started to film absolutely everything and I have over 65 hours of abuse, harassment videos of paparazzi from all around the UK going through red lights, just awful things, like driving over payments when mothers are pushing prams, shouting abusive things, making my daughter cry, jumping all over us, so we just made a very short edit, being aware that the time you have is precious, but we have 60-odd hours of video footage if the court ever need to see that? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Did you say 65 hours?
A. 64 point something. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I think there's a slight error in the transcription but we'll pick it up. Thank you. MR JAY Just one point. Towards the start there are men with cameras around a wooden fence
A. My house.
Q. Yes, and it looks as if they're trying to remove one of the slatted pieces of wood. Have I correctly understood what's going on?
A. Yeah, there was a slat missing in the build-up, they were there for probably about five or six weeks daily initially and then a piece of wood was put there to give more privacy so that they couldn't see through the slat, and then I sent one of my colleagues out with a camera to go under cover and film what they were saying and what they were doing. And that you can see at the beginning of the video. MR JAY Thank you. Maybe we can play the videotape now, or the DVD, rather. (Pause). I think there's sound.
A. There should be sound, but it's not coming. THE TECHNICIAN The technicians are organising the sound downstairs. MR JAY Can we pause it while we wait for the sound. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Can somebody see if we can facilitate that, please? (Pause). It's not just a question of turning up the volume? THE TECHNICIAN No, sir, I can't control the sound here. They do it downstairs. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm keen to watch this and therefore I'd like them to just do a moment or so's work on the equipment to make sure it works. So I'll give everybody a break while they do that, rather than have everybody sit here. (12.02 pm) (A short break) (12.18 pm) MR JAY The machine is now LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm very pleased to hear it. (DVD played) MR JAY Thank you. That is edited highlights of 64 hours of material?
A. Yes, it's just quickly put together to give you an idea.
Q. Thank you very much indeed. Your second statement you provided to the Inquiry primarily by way of background, but extremely useful nonetheless. You see there being, is this right, two periods, if I can so describe it: 1993, which was of course the date of your accident, and about 1999, when press coverage was generally very positive and favourable, and then 1999 onwards when it was different; is that right?
A. Yeah, I mean you should never expect to have favourable press if you're not doing something directly but it was accurate pre-1999 and then it became very inaccurate and very offensive and abusive post 1999, even though my childhood and my life and everything had been documented in a book for charity, it was hailed as "overcoming adversity" and "amazing" and "charity campaigner", and then the second I met my ex-husband, it became "one-legged bitch" and "cow" and every awful word you can think of.
Q. You've provided us with 69 pages of material. I understand you don't wish us to go through it, but the material largely speaks for itself. We see some examples of apologies given by the press, although if I may say so in very small print.
A. Yes. What I've found with the press, and one journalist actually confirmed it, was that the editors believed that you would go for libel, libel would always take a year or two, and they had free rein on you in that period, and it was all about accounts. The law at the moment has a capping system, so it's rarely that they will ever pay out what they've made in their heads from the sensationalistic headlines and the photographs they have then gone on to sell and circulate around the world. So you would get a tiny postage stamp apology, and yet we had over 5,000 headlines, over the period of 12 years, negative. So if you went to court and sued them, you may get 100, 200,000, but that was peanuts as far as they were concerned for what they had made from those headlines. And then my personal view is that until there is a disincentive for them to write so many lies and untruths and abusive comments, it's going to continue, and I feel that if I was an editor and I knew that I was going to be embarrassed every week by front-page apologies, the same size as the actual headline that was written, I would make sure that the information was 100 per cent correct. So until those laws are created, it's just going to continue that they put a postage stamp apology two or three years after the lie was said, in many cases that harmed our charity, and then it's too late, the public believe the lies.
Q. Have you on occasion complained to the PCC, Ms Mills?
A. Yes, many times.
Q. And what is your general experience of the PCC insofar as one can generalise?
A. Initially, I was unaware of them and always went down the libel route, which took a long time, but it was so costly and emotional and time-consuming and for a postage stamp size apology later, after all the damage had been done. We were informed about the PCC and we got some apologies, but then they were postage stamp. Then we investigated it more and found out that the big decision-makers around it generally were editors themselves who set their own code, which just seemed absolutely ludicrous to me. I just couldn't even believe that could exist, because why would they vote against themselves? Sometimes the PCC would try and be as helpful as possible, and they tended to be I can't remember the name, was it Stephen yeah, Stephen Abell? He tried to, I think, be a mediator between stopping a libel case, so when they knew you were seriously going to go down the libel route, then that would push them over the edge to give you an apology, but if they thought they could get away with it, then there was absolutely no way, even though they knew it was completely inaccurate. I remember when the Sunday Mirror, after my Indian trip, tried to say that the money hadn't gone there and I'd kept the money, and the money didn't even cross my palm. It went directly to the charity. And Tina Weaver of the Sunday Mirror at the time called Hello! magazine, Phil Hall, before the article was printed, and actually said, "Is this true that the money has gone direct?" and he said, "Yes, absolutely, Heather had nothing to do with the finances", but she ran the story anyway, which was ridiculous, because it was a good story to doubt my charitable works by now of over 20 years. It's one thing and another story if you want to target somebody directly, but when you know that they are responsible for hundreds and thousands of people's lives and you are directly damaging those lives, then I think that's criminal.
Q. I know you have some ideas for future regulation. You've shared one of them with us, that relates to front-page apologies, but are there any other ideas you wish to put in front of us for consideration?
A. Yeah. I have just some pointers to remind me. I think on the short-term solution, as I said, to disincentivise them and have huge penalties, not these small amounts that really don't make any difference to large organisations. The same page an apology. Also, the legal costs situation. Forget about the people that have the money to fight it. I set up a website called in 2007 because people were writing to me and saying, "I know how you feel, my son tried to commit suicide because the newspapers said that he'd upset a girl", "My daughter did this", really horrific things which motivated me to start this website and get more information and start investigating myself reporters who were writing horrific stories about me. I decided how would they like it if I started investigating them, and I found out a lot of things that we will be using but on the criminal side. What I found was that so many of these people wanted to sue the newspaper, but they had absolutely no money, and then if they did a no win no fee case, they were still going to be responsible for any costs that the court didn't insist were paid by the newspapers. So I think when somebody has won a court case outright, all the costs have to be covered, because you're never allowing somebody with no money to do a genuine CFA, a no win no fee, and it's very unfair, and there are a lot of people out there suffering who have been through horrific situations and do not have any recourse or right of reply because they don't have the finances. I mean, we're in a privileged position that we can fight our case. It's still emotionally draining, exhausting, time-consuming, but we have that privilege. There are hundreds and hundreds of people out there that have been through horrific situations with the press making up stories, and they have no recourse. So that's another area. And then I think long-term with the PCC that it needs to be absolutely 100 per cent changed and there needs to be a public body that basically is set up with respected individual members of the public who learn the rights of what the code should be, and I think it would be a matter of public duty if they wish to serve on that for a year, and then move on to another group for another year, so that nobody is accessible to be bribed or to be motivated in any way, or to be blackmailed or threatened in any way to make a decision that benefits the perpetrator, as in potentially the tabloid newspaper who wrote the horrific story about the particular person. So I think it needs to the power needs to be taken away from the editors and given to the public to decide.
Q. Thank you very much.
A. Can I say one more thing?
Q. Yes, of course.
A. Regarding the paparazzi, the biggest problem, having worked with the police a lot now over a number of years, is they feel helpless. They see a situation, they know there are 20 people outside your house, but they're standing on a public footpath and there's nothing they can do about it. It's quite obvious harassment and stalking, but it's a public footpath and because they have a camera they're allowed to stand there. I feel that if all photographers, paparazzi, whatever you want to call them, are licensed and that no newspaper can use a photograph unless it's from a licensed photographer who has been given all the rules and regulations and codes and, you know, not harassing, and then they can basically be struck off should they cross the line in that area, and it means it's regulated in a proper way. As Sienna Miller said, why is it okay for her to run down a dark alleyway with 20 photographers following her? If there was 20 men without a camera chasing her, you know, that would be criminal, so why is that okay? So I feel that changing law is a very difficult thing, but in the short term certain things can be implemented quite quickly to stop this. MR JAY Thank you very much indeed, Ms Mills. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much.
A. Thank you. MS PATRY HOSKINS Sir, the next witness is Ms Stanistreet from the NUJ. I'll just let Ms Mills vacate. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Certainly. MS MICHELLE STANISTREET (affirmed) Questions by MS PATRY HOSKINS MS PATRY HOSKINS Thank you very much. Could you please state your full name.
A. Michelle Stanistreet.
Q. Ms Stanistreet, you've provided the Inquiry with three separate statements. Can just confirm what they are. The first was your opening statement, also referred to as your first witness statement. There's then been a second witness statement and two exhibits, which have been the subject of a ruling from the Chairman, and a third statement on Derek Webb and press cards and so on, which I'll come to. Is that your evidence to the Inquiry?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. Can you confirm that the contents of all the statements I've referred to are true and accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief?
A. I can confirm that, yes.
Q. I'm going to take them chronologically, and start with the first statement. If we look at the first page of the statement, I can just touch on your career history. You explain on the first page that you are the elected general secretary of the National Union of Journalists. Prior to that you worked as a journalist for ten years at the Sunday Express newspaper as a feature writer and books editor. You were the NUJ mother of the chapel at Express Newspapers as well as the national representative for newspapers and agencies on the NUJ's ruling NEC. In fact, you became the first woman in the NUJ's history to be elected as general secretary in April 2011, and the first woman deputy general secretary elected in 2008.
A. Yes.
Q. All accurate?
A. Yes.
Q. Then you tell us a little about the National Union of Journalists. You explain that it is the voice for journalism and for journalists across the UK and Ireland. It was founded in 1907 and currently has around 38,000 members. You explain that that 38,000-strong membership works in all sectors of the media, including staff, students and freelancers, writers, reporters editors, subeditors, photographers, illustrators and people who also work in PR. I am not going to spend very long with you on your first statement because you read it out and I think you probably on that basis have said what you want to say about it, but there's one issue I'd like to take up again on that if I can and that's the campaign for a conscience clause. You explained in your opening statement that the NUJ has campaigned for a conscience clause for many years. In the light of everything that you've heard at this Inquiry over the past few months, is that something that the NUJ would still advocate? And if so, why?
A. I think everything we've heard at the Inquiry to date has just shown exactly why it's so vital that journalists have the protection of that conscience clause, so that when faced with pressure to do something that's unethical, when faced with a directive from the editor to carry out a piece of work that they believe contravenes the NUJ's code of conduct, that as members they sign up to adhere to, they can stand up and say, "Actually, I'm not going to carry out that work, and I'm invoking my conscience clause in doing so", and they can take that stance and stand up for their journalistic ethics knowing that they can't then be sacked or dismissed summarily for not adhering to their own personal contract with their employer. As things stand, journalists simply don't have that protection. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Is there a difference between the NUJ conscience clause in their deal with you and the approach of the PCC?
A. We have there are different codes of conducts that exist, and we believe ours ours it is very straightforward, it's ten points. They are principles that all journalists who are members of our union adhere to, but nobody at the moment has this kind of conscience clause. It just doesn't exist. So at the moment journalists, wherever they work in the media industry, don't have that protection. And if they don't have at the same time a collective organisation within that workforce, a trade union voice, they don't even have anybody independent to turn to and to raise concerns that they have or to highlight the pressure that they're coming under to deliver work that is contravening their ethics. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON The reason I ask the question is slightly different, because there are many journalists you may have 38,000 who aren't members of the NUJ, yet would doubtless want the protection of a clause to permit them to refuse to do something that didn't comply with an accepted code of ethics. So what I'm really testing is whether a conscience clause couldn't be sufficiently drafted to fit whatever code of conduct ultimately there is.
A. I think it absolutely could be drafted in that way and to deliver that. I mean, we'd love it if the industry adopted our code of conduct as standard. I think you know, and there's scope for that in some quarters. I know there are even people within the PCC who would respect our code of conduct and think it's a very good one, but I think there needs to be a recognised code of conduct and then journalists, wherever they work, should have the protection of the conscience clause, and employers shouldn't be able to opt out of that. It should be something that's there and available to all journalists to protect them in their day to day work. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Okay. MS PATRY HOSKINS Since you've touched on the code of conduct, we should probably turn it up briefly. It's reference number 02396 and it was annexed to the first statement of Ms Stanistreet. Is there any aspect of that that you'd like to draw to our attention? Do you have that with you?
A. I do.
Q. Are there any aspects about it you'd particularly like to draw to the Chairman's attention, given the answers you've just given us?
A. I think I mean, they're all very clear principles, there's 12 of them, and it they highlight not just the principles by which a journalist stands by in terms of their ethics and how they carry out their work, but I would like to stress how actually it also very much stresses public accountability and the accountability and responsibility that journalists have in carrying out their work to ordinary members of the public, and that's something, as the NUJ, that we've always campaigned very hard for. You know, we believe that that public accountability is also a very important element of this that employers need to take much more seriously than they currently do.
Q. Before I turn away from the first statement, is there anything that you wanted to particularly draw out from that statement?
A. I think one of the key the key things that I believe I explained in my opening statement and that I think is really fundamental when we're looking at the future as to how we could avoid the situation that we've got to so far, and I think it's vital that journalists have the protection of an independent trade union within their workplace. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case for so many journalists who work in the industry at the moment. Not only do they not have a recourse to that in their workplace, they work for employers who are actively hostile to the NUJ as the independent trade union for journalists here, and when they have a difficulty, they just simply don't have anywhere to turn internally. And whilst of course we represent individual members wherever they work, it's within very severe constraints and limitations if we don't have, as a trade union, the right to collective bargaining within that workplace, because of course the NUJ doesn't simply deal with issues of bread and butter trade union, pay and terms and conditions. We're there to defend journalistic ethics and the very principles by which the industry should set its standards.
Q. All right. Can I move on to the second statement or was there anything else you wanted to say?
A. No, that's fine.
Q. The second statement was prepared with a view to ensuring that the voices of anonymous journalists could be heard at this Inquiry. I want to take you through some the paragraphs of the statement before we look at the exhibits thereto. Can we turn to paragraph 4 onwards of this statement first of all.
A. Yes.
Q. You explain there that you and other officers and members of the NUJ spent much time over several weeks identifying journalists to give evidence of their experiences of the culture, practice and ethics of the press to the Inquiry. You circulated the entire membership in November to ask if any member had and would provide evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. You attach the circular at MS2. If you look at MS2, it's a three and a half page letter, it makes clear that the NUJ has been granted core participant status, it explains what the NUJ is planning to do at this Inquiry. Then at the bottom of Page 3 it says this: "To that end, the NUJ is asking for members to come forward and share your experiences, whether it's on journalistic practices, your experience of how matters ethical are handled in your current or previous workplace, about how your working culture could be improved or problems you have had to deal with that you feel the Leveson Inquiry should consider. Please get in touch with me. "Lord Justice Leveson has also been clear in stating that he is interested in the full breadth of culture, practice and ethics in the press. That means the good practice as well as the bad. This is an Inquiry that could shape the future of our industry and it is vital that the views of working journalists are heard and seriously considered." And then you go on to say that you will deal with queries personally and in confidence and testimony can be put through to the Inquiry anonymously.
A. Yes.
Q. Can you tell us perhaps you say, going back to your statement, paragraph 5, around 40 journalists, members of the union, got in touch with you as a result, and you personally interviewed them either face to face or on the telephone. Did any of them provide you with written evidence?
A. Yes, some did and some I spoke to and they also sent me information in writing.
Q. You explain further down the same paragraph that in MS1, the first exhibit to this statement, you have reported what some 13 of them told you. Is there a correction to be made there?
A. It's actually 12.
Q. How did you get down from 40 to 12?
A. Many journalists got in touch with me to share their thoughts about how the Inquiry was going, about the types of witnesses who were coming forward. Some journalists wanted to give ideas and suggestions about future model of press regulation, which we're going to be dealing with separately, we'll be making a separate submission about the NUJ's suggested model of future regulation. So there was a variety of issues that people were raising with me. Some people I spoke to and they shared experiences on a whole range of different issues, many of which is covered here, whether it's on bullying or it's treatment that they've experienced or examples of unethical practice, but they absolutely didn't want it to be shared even in confidence.
Q. Did you reject anyone who may have provided positive feedback about their experiences of being a journalist?
A. No, absolutely not, and as you can see, I was very clear in the circular that I sent out, which we also disseminated through the unions, email bulletins on our website, that actually I wanted to hear and the Inquiry wanted to hear, more importantly, examples of the good as well as the bad, and no, sadly, I haven't had a queue of journalists who were coming forward to share great experiences in their workplace. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Presumably people who wanted to applaud the work of their employers wouldn't be afraid of doing so publicly.
A. Absolutely not. I haven't seen many of them here in the Inquiry sharing that kind of testimony with you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well. MS PATRY HOSKINS When you spoke to the journalists who came forward, did you take any steps to check whether the journalists knew each other or had spoken to each other in advance of coming to talk to you?
A. I spoke to journalists, as far as I know they haven't been speaking to other none of them are connected in any way. They are journalists who work in a range of different newspapers, they are journalists who live in a variety of different places, and no, there are no shared links. But I would say that journalism is it's a small pool of people relatively as an industry and many journalists know other journalists within their industry. That's just the way things are.
Q. Did you personally ask any questions to ascertain whether or not they had spoken to each other in advance of coming to talk to you?
A. Yes, and they hadn't.
Q. Did you ask
A. Sorry, I should also add that the very fact of them coming to talk to me wasn't something that they were sharing with other people. It was something they were deliberately being very cautious about and absolutely didn't want anybody else to know that they were coming forward and talking to me.
Q. Did you ask sorry, I've been asked a number of questions to put to you and I'm trying to do that. Did you ask whether the journalists had spoken to others, such as Mr Davies, Nick Davies, for example, or anyone else who have given evidence to the Inquiry based on what they were told?
A. No, I didn't ask them that question about Nick Davies, nor would I. Nick has written a book in which he obviously has his own sources. I wouldn't expect any journalist or anybody to tell me that they were a confidential source for another piece of journalism or for a book. As a journalist myself, I would jealously guard my own sources and protect their confidentiality and I would absolutely respect Nick's protection of his sources and the anonymity of the people who have come forward and spoken to him.
Q. So you sent out this letter, got some responses. In the end, 12 permitted you to record what they'd said in this way and then present it in MS1, which we're going to come on to look in a moment. Can you tell us about how the interviewed were conducted? Did you take contemporaneous notes?
A. I did. For all of the interviews that I conducted, I took contemporaneous notes.
Q. How did you decide which questions to ask them?
A. I wanted to talk to each of them about their experiences, about their time as a journalist in a range of whatever workplaces that they'd been in. I asked them I mean, the way that actually most of the interviews happened is that once people started talking, they literally covered an awful lot of terrain in many instances, particularly in the cases about bullying. I asked them did they feel that they had support to speak out about journalistic you know, their journalistic ethics or about the treatment that they were on the receiving end of, and I asked them whether or not why they didn't feel that they could speak openly and publicly about their experiences to the Inquiry.
Q. Presumably you were taking a manuscript note of these conversations. When did you type up the notes?
A. Immediately after, which is my practice as a journalist anyway. This would have been this is the way I worked when I was working full-time as a journalist. I was a feature writer and books editor, so taking lengthy interviews was my day-to-day work. I have always relied on handwritten notes, shorthand, handwritten notes, even in times when I've used a dictaphone, and all of the people I spoke to when I was carrying out personal interviews them, many of them absolutely specified that I could not use a dictaphone, that they didn't want anything recorded, so as a matter of course for all of the interviews, I did handwritten notes and typed them up immediately afterwards.
Q. And you didn't record any of them?
A. No.
Q. When you were transcribing the manuscript notes and typing them up and then creating MS1, how did you edit what you had been told? What did you leave out, I think is the question?
A. There were some specific examples, anecdotes, that some individuals shared that would have absolutely identified them as journalists, so anything that would have enabled people to piece together their identity, even by jigsaw means, I omitted. So these would have been specific examples of, "When I was writing this particular story or tasked with this particular job, this is what happened to me", so in terms of the generalities of the treatments, that's remained in there, but there are some examples of specific occasions where I felt, and the journalist I was talking to felt, it would have enabled somebody else to figure out who they were.
Q. Did you leave out any material that could conceivably be relevant to the issues that the chairman is considering at this Inquiry?
A. No, I didn't. I wanted the chairman and I wanted the Inquiry and the general public to have as broad a view and as clear an insight into the reality of working life for most ordinary journalists, far too many journalists in the industry. So if there had've been positive things to say, I would have happily left them in there as well. I haven't edited to suit at all.
Q. I'm still going through my list of questions I've been asked to put to you. Have each of the journalists now seen and confirmed that the parts of MS1 that concern them are accurate?
A. Yes, and I've spoken to all of the journalists, yes.
Q. On 7 February, you may be aware, Lord Justice Leveson gave a ruling on the admission of anonymous evidence that you've collated, and at paragraph 21 of that, he said this: "I am not prepared to rule out these statements on the basis of failure to provide notes, but will consider adopting the same practice pursued in relation to the challenge to the transcript provided by Chris Atkins. That would require Ms Stanistreet to show counsel to the Inquiry copies of her notes, redacted to remove the name of any journalist who provided the information, thereby protects his or her anonymity. Counsel will then be able to confirm the fair presentation of the material, and if there is any difficulty in that regard, I will reconsider the matter." Now, it's not usual for counsel to the Inquiry to give evidence, so I'm going to ask you to confirm a series of statements, if I can. Can you confirm that we met yesterday afternoon?
A. We did.
Q. I viewed all your notes that were relevant to this paragraph of the ruling?
A. (Nods head).
Q. And you showed me 12 sets of notes relating to all 12 journalists referred to in MS1?
A. I did.
Q. You told me that although you spoke with all 12 journalists, some of them had sent written notes containing their versions of events and you also showed me those notes prepared by the journalists themselves?
A. I did.
Q. And then there's a reference to the fact that you typed up your notes; we've covered that. Sir, I don't think Ms Stanistreet is going to be able to confirm the conclusions that I've reached but you've seen LORD JUSTICE LEVESON No, she isn't. I'm prepared, so that it's clear and within the public domain: you undertook that exercise with Ms Stanistreet's consent. There is absolutely nothing that you have seen that in any sense might assist core participants or undermine anything that the witnesses have said. MS PATRY HOSKINS That's correct. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON In other words, you've done the exercise. MS PATRY HOSKINS I have. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And you're satisfied that everything has been done which I required to be done. MS PATRY HOSKINS That's correct. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. Well, that's not evidence, but I accept it. MS PATRY HOSKINS Sir, I was going to move on now to look at the MS1 in a little more detail, but given the time, I'm wondering if, before I move on to that, we should simply break and come back early. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, we'll start again at 1.55, if that's all right. Thank you. (12.55 pm)


Gave a statement at the hearing on 09 February 2012 (AM) ; and submitted 2 pieces of evidence
Gave a statement at the hearing on 09 February 2012 (AM) ; and submitted 3 pieces of evidence
Gave a statement at the hearing on 09 February 2012 (AM) ; and submitted 3 pieces of evidence


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