Andy Coulson admits he was a 'careless' editor

Andy Coulson admitted in court he had been a "careless" editor but denied that meant he was involved in phone hacking. The former News of the World editor was being questioned in the hacking trial.

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Andy Coulson: 'I was a careless editor'

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has admitted in court he had been a "careless" editor but denied that meant he was involved in phone hacking. He was being questioned in the hacking trial about what he knew of reporters' criminal activities on his watch.

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Prosecutor Michael Edis QC challenged Coulson over his description of himself to the jury as a "risk-averse" editor.

He asked: "Were you a slapdash and careless editor?"

Coulson said: "I don't think I was slapdash but with the benefit of hindsight I displayed some carelessness. I would accept that."

Coulson went on to say he "rubber-stamped" two email requests by royal editor Clive Goodman to pay for stolen royal directories, not believing the money was really for a police officer.

Coulson admits 'bad mistake' over Blunkett hack

Andy Coulson admitted he made "a bad mistake" on a story sourced from David Blunkett's voicemails but denied he "turned a blind eye" over the hacking of the former Home Secretary's phone.

The former News of the World editor was asked why he never inquired of chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck where he got the taped phone message in which Blunkett declared his love for Spectator publisher Kimberly Fortier in 2004.

Details of David Blunkett's affair with Kimberly Fortier emerged though hacking. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Prosecutor Andrew Edis said: "There's only one reason why you would not ask him and that's because you already knew Neville had (Glenn) Mulcaire hacking voicemails."

Coulson said: "That's not true."

He added: "I accept that I failed. I don't think I turned a blind eye - to turn a blind eye you would have to have some knowledge. What I'm saying is it was a mistake, a bad mistake."

Mr Coulson denies one count of conspiring to hack phones and two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

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Coulson affair with Rebekah Brooks 'lasted until 2007'

Andy Coulson's relationship with Rebekah Brooks went on three years longer than has previously been suggested, the hacking trial has heard.

Coulson said his affair with Brooks continued until January 2007, when he resigned as editor of the News of the World.

Rebekah Brooks is a former editor of the News of the World and the Sun. Credit: PA Wire

The court previously heard the relationship started in 1998 and stopped "soon after" before resuming until 2004, when a letter written by Brooks indicated Coulson had ended the affair.

"From 2004 it was by no means continuous but the affair did continue until around the time I left the NotW," Coulson said.

Coulson 'received £600,000 pay-off' on quitting NotW

Andy Coulson quit over former royal editor Clive Goodman's phone hacking. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Andy Coulson received a £600,000 leaving package when he resigned as editor of the News of the World over the phone hacking scandal in 2007, the Old Bailey heard today.

Coulson said the agreement he made was for two years' pay plus a month for every year served. He added: "I did not consider that unusual."

Mr Coulson denies one count of conspiring to hack phones and two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

Andy Coulson: I didn't help or hinder hacking probe

Andy Coulson told the Old Bailey hacking trial he made the decision not to "help or hinder" a 2006 police investigation into hacking at the now-defunct News of the World.

"I made my decision, and I decided that I wouldn’t hinder the police investigation, but I made the decision I wouldn’t help the police investigation," the paper's former editor said in response to a question by co-defendant Clive Goodman's lawyer, David Spens QC.

Mr Coulson also accused the ex-royal editor of "completely twisting" his words after a meeting at a cafe in Wimbledon, south west London, in which Mr Goodman alleges his boss tried to convince him to admit he undertook hacking a "lone wolf".

Coulson accused of 'pure hypocrisy' over Blunkett affair

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson told the Old Bailey hacking trial that he regrets exposing David Blunkett's affair with Kimberly Fortier as he was accused of "pure hypocrisy" over the 2004 story.

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson told the hacking trial that he regrets exposing former David Blunkett's affair Credit: PA

During cross-examination by co-defendant Clive Goodman's lawyer, David Spens QC, the 46-year-old said the "irony" was not lost on him that he was being unfaithful to his own wife at the time.

Mr Coulson also conceded that reporter Neville Thurlbeck, who played him the former Home Secretary's voicemails in relation to the affair, had escaped disciplinary action and was not reported to the Press Complaints Commission.

He said he had never asked Mr Thurlbeck how he obtained the messages.

Mr Coulson denies one count of conspiring to hack phones and two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

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'Do his phone' not an order to hack, Coulson tells court

Andy Coulson told the Old Bailey hacking trial today that an email ordering "Do his phone" had nothing to do with hacking, but was an instruction to inspect the phone bill of a News of the World staff member who he suspected of leaking stories.

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson with his wife Eloise arriving at London's Old Bailey today Credit: ITV News

The former NotW editor denied the order had anything to do with hacking the phone of Calum Best, son of footballer George Best.

"I was quite resistant to the idea of anybody working for me leaking stories but there was a growing body of evidence that was being put forward by some other people on the paper and in the end - reluctantly - I approved the request for billing data in relation to (the staff member)," he said.

Read: Coulson admits hearing hacked Blunkett voicemails

He told jurors he was "in no doubt" that the email shown to the hacking trial was not an "instruction to anybody to hack anybody's phone".

In the event, there was no evidence to support the suspicions surrounding the reporter in question, the court heard.

The trial was adjourned until 10am on Tuesday.

Coulson: Blunkett voicemails 'only ones I heard'

Andy Coulson outside the Old Bailey.
Andy Coulson outside the Old Bailey. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Andy Coulson has told court the phone hacking trial that David Blunkett's voicemails were the only ones he personally heard.

Mr Coulson said he was "shocked" when reporter Neville Thurlbeck played him the recordings, which indicated the then Home Secretary was having an affair with Kimberly Fortier, who was publisher of the Spectator at the time.

Mr Coulson denies one count of conspiring to hack phones and two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

Read: Coulson admits hearing hacked Blunkett voicemail

Coulson 'didn't know Blunkett hack was illegal'

Andy Coulson has said he regrets not telling David Blunkett that his phone had been hacked, claiming he did not know at the time that the practice was illegal.

Mr Coulson told the Old Bailey that he confronted the former Home Secretary after intercepted voicemails indicated he was having an affair. However, he had refused to mention how he had made the discovery, the jury heard.

"At that stage, I didn’t know it was illegal and I felt it was possibly justified," he said.

Mr Coulson was then asked if the News International lawyer told him that phone hacking was against the law.

"At the time of David Blunkett, there was no mention of illegality," he replied.

Mr Coulson denies one count of conspiring to hack phones and two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

Coulson: Blunkett hack 'made me angry'

Former David Blunkett's voicemails were subject to hacking.
Court has heard that David Blunkett (pictured) had his voicemails hacked. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has told court that he used "colourful language" upon discovering that an employee had hacked the voicemail of then Home Secretary David Blunkett.

The 46-year-old told the Old Bailey: "I was shocked, because [chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck] told me he had heard some voicemail messages.

"I can’t remember exactly what was said, but I know I was quite angry about it," he added.

However, he said Mr Thurlbeck later convinced him that the voicemails indicated Mr Blunkett was "sharing information, sensitive information, that he shouldn’t have been sharing".

Mr Coulson faces charges related to alleged phone hacking between 2000 and 2006 as well as two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

Read: Coulson admits hearing hacked Blunkett voicemail

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