'Thoroughly aggressive' News of the World man threatened by colleague with replica gun, trial told

A News of the World man was so aggressive that he once pushed a colleague into threatening him with a replica gun, the hacking trial heard today.

Former editor Andy Coulson conceded that bullying did exist in newspapers in the 1980s and 1990s, but denied it went on during his time at the News of the World.

Former royal editor Clive Goodman said in his evidence to the Old Bailey that he was bullied and demoted.

During Coulson's cross-examination, Goodman's lawyer, David Spens QC, said the editorial staff member, who cannot be named, was "a thoroughly aggressive individual".

Coulson replied: "No, I do not accept that."

Mr Spens said that on one occasion, while the man worked for another tabloid, a crime reporter "pushed beyond the brink, put a replica gun to his head and threatened to shoot him".

Coulson said: "I have never heard that story before."

Asked if the man was "a shouter", Coulson said: "He would raise his voice, yes."

He went on to say the staff member "did not rate" Goodman very highly.

But he added: "I never saw any evidence of (the staff member) behaving in a way I would consider bullying."

Goodman admitted phone hacking in 2006 but denies conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.

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