The former royal editor of the defunct News of the World newspaper has admitted hacking the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s phones nearly 200 times.
Sky News reports that Clive Goodman told the Old Bailey that he accessed the voicemail on Kate’s phone a total of 155 occasions, and also managed to get into Prince William’s voicemail 35 times.
This was the first time Goodman has admitted hacking the royal couple. He was jailed in 2007 for illegally accessing the voicemails of royal aides.
Upon returning to the witness box after a period of ill health, he was accused of working more closely with private detective Glenn Mulcaire to hack phones in 2005 and 2006 than he has previously stated.
Timothy Langdale QC, the lawyer of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson told Mr Goodman: “I’m going to suggest you had direct contact with Glenn Mulcaire significantly before the time you have told us – that you yourself had been hacking on a much wider scale than you have told this court about.”
Mr Langdale said that Kate Middleton was first hacked on 21 October 2005 and asked Goodman why she had been targeted, to which Goodman replied: “She was a figure of increasing importance around the royal family. There were discussions about her and Prince William marrying, moving in, settling down. She started to receive semi royal status and things were moving on.”
Langdale said: “You are telling us Glenn Mulcaire hacked her without any instruction from you? Did you task him to do that?”
Goodman replied: “I do not remember tasking him to do that. It’s possible but I do not recall.
“I have been as open and honest about hacking as I can be but nobody has asked me any questions about this before.”
Goodman also said, while giving evidence about payments to Mulcaire in return hacking phones: “Let’s face it, at this time, Andy Coulson was no stranger to hacking.”
Clive Goodman is on trial, along with Andy Coulson, for authorising illegal payments to public officials.
The News of the World was closed by Rupert Murdoch in 2011 after it was hit by controversy and falling advertising revenue following the revelations that it was deeply implicated in the phone hacking scandal.