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Thursday, July 28, 2011 

Hacking someone who didn't need to be hacked.

There's something about Sara Payne also being in Glenn Mulcaire's phone hacking files that just doesn't ring (groan) quite right. After all, the relationship between Payne and Brooks was so close that it seems incredibly doubtful that she would have hidden anything from the News of the World that could have then been turned into a story. Moreover, unlike with some of the other relatives of murder victims the Sun and the News of the World have supported, with Payne it was clear who was supporting whom, with there being no apparent ulterior motive. Sure, the whole Sarah's law campaign was a great sales driver for the paper, but it was also one which Brooks wholly believed in. While it's difficult not to be suspicious that some of what Brooks told the media committee last week wasn't the whole truth, when it comes to Payne you suspect her anguish and discomfort is genuine, even if Private Eye's story on Brooks calling Payne in to the NotW offices on a favour is accurate.

If her phone was hacked, and it's a massive if considering that an ex-NotW PR is saying Payne didn't even have voicemail on the phone provided by the paper until 2009, then the most likely explanation seems to be it was the rivalry between the Sun and the NotW while the latter was being edited by Andy Coulson. After all, as Brooks herself keeps reminding us, her phone was among those hacked by Mulcaire, one suspects in an attempt by the NotW to nab any exclusives which were being worked on by the Sun without Brooks letting on to her close friend Andy. Otherwise, and bearing in mind that Paul McMullan isn't the most reliable witness, it's not completely out of the question that Mulcaire simply had it in case lazy NotW hacks couldn't be bothered finding it themselves, especially seeing he was the go-between for so much else. However out of control the NotW was under Coulson, hacking someone who didn't need to be hacked just doesn't seem to fit.

P.S. If for some strange masochistic reason you want to peruse a further discussion of my intellectually lightweight thoughts on Breivik, yesterday's post was also featured over at Lib Con.

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