Glenn Mulcaire never deleted Milly Dowler's voicemail, court told

The News of the World never deleted Milly Dowler’s voicemail messages, a court has heard.

Continuing his opening address at the phone-hacking trial, Andrew Edis conceded there was no evidence to support the claim carried in The Guardian in July 2011.

The paper has previously conceded that it was an error to state that journalists from the News of the World had deleted voicemails giving the Dowler family false hope that their daughter was still alive.

Edis told the court: "Milly Dowler's mother, when she called her daughter's phone, heard a different message and she thought that meant she might be still alive. It was alleged that was the result of the deletion of voicemails by the phone hacker from her phone. There is no evidence for that at all. No evidence that Mr [Glenn] Mulcaire ever deleted any voicemails from Milly Dowler's phone."

The jury heard that News International introduced a new policy on email deletion while they moved to their new offices in Thomas More Square.

Originally, all emails before 2007 were to be deleted, however this was changed to 2010.

Edis said: "We suggest that that shows Mrs Brooks may have had a personal interest in this email deletion policy – both to the date of the cut-off (point) and her own personal emails – also that it should be got on with.

"This is all going on in the context of the Guardian having published its article (on phone hacking) in the summer of 2009.

"We suggest that that is some evidence that Mrs Brooks was keen to get rid of material that related to her activities when she was editor, first of the News of the World, then of The Sun."

Jurors were also read a memo that Brooks sent to staff on July 5 2011, following the Guardian's allegations of hacking murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone.

She wrote: "We were all appalled and shocked when we heard about these allegations yesterday.

"It was sickening that these events are alleged to have happened, not just because I was editor of the News of the World at the time… But if the allegations are true, the devastating effects on Milly Dowler's family are unforgivable.

"I am determined that News International does everything it can to co-operate fully (with the police investigation)."

She added: "It is almost too horrific to believe that a professional journalist or even a freelance inquiry agent working on behalf of a member of News of the World staff could behave in this way.

"I can promise the strongest possible action will be taken."

All the defendants deny the charges. 

The trial continues. 

 

 

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