Reporter recruited by News of the World for hacking ability

A former tabloid reporter has claimed he was recruited from the Sunday Mirror to join the News of the World partly because of his knowledge of phone hacking.

Reporter recruited by News of the World for hacking ability

Dan Evans told the Old Bailey that he was approached by staff from the News of the World three times before he finally resigned from the Sunday Mirror in Oct 2004 and left three months later.

He said: “I was bringing phone-hacking techniques and methodology. I was bringing a pretty lengthy list of phone-hacking targets. People whose voicemails had been intercepted, general skills to perpetuate that activity.”

But he said he did not want to become a “pet phone hacker”, for James Weatherup, who was working at the NotW.

Evans discussed the practice with staff from the newspaper when they had their first meeting to discuss a possible job, the court heard. He said: “Voicemail interception became part of the conversation. It was not referred to as phone hacking that phrase did not exist then.”

At a second meeting at the same bar with Weatherup, they were joined by another NotW staff member, who cannot be named.

Evans said: “He sat down and said ’I know you can screw phones, what else can you do?’ ”

To which Evans, 38, replied: “Quite a lot, actually. I told him I was an investigative reporter.”

The court heard that Evans has already admitted conspiracy to hack phones at the Sunday Mirror between Feb 2003 and Jan 2005, and the same offence at the News of the World between Apr 2004 and Jun 2010.

He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office between Jan 2008 and Jun 2010, and perverting the course of justice by giving a false statement in High Court proceedings.

Mr Evans told the court about the “Kerching moment” when he met Andy Coulson at a hotel to discuss a job at the NotW for the third time. “

“I got onto voicemails and interception and I told him I had a lot of commercially sensitive data in my head and how things worked at the Sunday Mirror and I could bring him big exclusive stories cheaply which was the kerching moment. Bring exclusive stories cheaply equals job.”

One way to bring in exclusive stories cheaply was to listen to someone’s voicemails and work out who they were having a relationship with, he said. That would “shift units from supermarket shelves”.

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