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Royal reporter jailed for hacking into palace phone systems in UK

Royal reporter jailed for hacking into palace phone systems in UK

A British court on Friday sentenced a tabloid journalist to four months in prison for hacking into royal officials' voicemail systems.
Judge Peter Henry Gross said he had no option but to hand a prison sentence to Clive Goodman, 49, the royal editor of the News of the World, describing his crime as "reprehensible in the extreme."
Goodman's accomplice, private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, 36, was sentenced to six months in prison for hacking into the messages, including some from Princes William and Harry, sons of heir to the throne Prince Charles.
Shortly after the sentencing, The News of the World's editor Andy Coulson announced his resignation.
"I have decided that the time has come for me to take ultimate responsibility for the events around the Clive Goodman case," Coulson said.
The judge said Mulcaire duped mobile phone network operators into passing him confidential pin numbers to access messages left on the cell phones.
The calls to intercept the voicemail messages - made between November 2005 and June 2006 - targeted the telephones of the Prince of Wales's aide Helen Asprey, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the ex-SAS officer who is private secretary to Princes William and Harry, and Charles' communications secretary Paddy Harverson.
Goodman acted after his once celebrated career began to founder, his lawyer Jon Kelsey-Fry said during the hearing.
"Mr. Goodman's stories were no longer considered adequate by his superiors," he said. "He was demoted, sidelined and a younger reporter was assigned to cover the royal family. Under that pressure, he feared for his job.
"It was whilst under that pressure that he departed from these high standards with which he lived his life, a departure of which he will be ashamed for the rest of his life."
Gross acknowledged the reporter had acted in desperation, but said it could not reduce the "intrinsically serious and unattractive nature" of the crime.
"This was serious criminal conduct to which we must not become numbed," he said. "Such criminal conduct should be marked by a loss of liberty," he said.


Updated : 2021-07-29 09:35 GMT+08:00