LONDON (AFP) - A former News of the World journalist told a British court on Tuesday how he used phone-hacking to find out about an affair between James Bond star Daniel Craig and actress Sienna Miller.
Dan Evans, who has pleaded guilty to hacking at Rupert Murdoch’s now defunct tabloid and its rival the Sunday Mirror, said his then editor Andy Coulson knew what he was doing and advised him on how to cover his tracks.
Evans was giving evidence at the trial of Coulson, Coulson’s predecessor editor Rebekah Brooks, and the News of the World’s ex-managing editor, Stuart Kuttner, who all deny conspiring to hack phones.
On Monday, Evans told London’s Old Bailey court how he was recruited from the Sunday Mirror in 2004 to the News of the World because of his hacking skills – and Coulson knew this when he hired him.
Continuing his evidence on Tuesday, the 38-year-old described how he hacked the voicemail of Bond star Craig.
“I heard a female voice saying ‘Hi, it’s me. Cannot speak, I’m at the Groucho (club) with Jude’,” Evans said.
He then checked the number and found it belonged to Miller, who at that time was dating actor Jude Law.
Evans put together a story with another News of the World journalist who could corroborate the information, and took it to Coulson, the court heard.
Evans said he was told by Coulson to make a copy of the recorded message, put it in a padded envelope and take it to reception so it would look like it had been dropped off anonymously at the newspaper.
Then another journalist picked it up with “mock surprise", saying “look what I’ve found", Evans said.
Evans confronted Craig with the story, which he denied, causing the story to be held for another week.
It eventually ran in October 2005 after it was “approved” by Jude Law’s spokesperson, the court heard.
Evans used two unregistered “burner” phones for hacking, for which he claimed work expenses, the court heard.
The hacking came to an abrupt end when the paper’s royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were arrested in August 2006, Evans said.
“There was a palpable sense of shock (at the paper). I proceeded to start getting rid of all the evidence I could possibly get my hands on,” he recalled.
Mulcaire and Goodman were jailed for hacking in 2007.
Evans was caught when later, “in a moment of panic", he used his own phone to hack the voicemail of designer Kelly Hoppen, Sienna Miller’s stepmother. The interception was traced to his number.