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Rebekah Brooks: “Not Guilty”. OK?

Rebekah Brooks leaving the high courtNow that the case is over, it is worth noting some of the details which hitherto could not be reported. Milly Dowler was a child who was abducted and then killed by a predatory paedophile. News of the World (NoW) journalists chanced on a voicemail which suggested she might still be alive and working in Telford. They did not however tell the police who were searching for her. When the police search failed to locate her, those same journalists, needing confirmation of the story, demanded that the Surrey police (Milly was a Surrey schoolgirl) corroborate the story for them. They quoted the voicemail both in phone calls and in email, and both those calls and messages have been retained in the Surrey police records.

The prosecution case was that Brooks as NoW editor must have been told about this potentially enormous scoop and its provenance. It was suggested that she must have been consulted about the very risky decision to hide information from the police. How could she not have known, it was argued, that 7 of her journalists were working on this story, including both her news editor and her managing editor, both of whom had rung the Surrey police and quoted the voicemail? It was even more incredulous when she herself was running a big national campaign to protect children from predatory paedophiles.

Brooks denied it all. She had been on holiday that week in Dubai and, she said, nobody had sought to tell her anything about this matter of Dowler at all. She had however whilst on holiday been using a News International phone, and the phone bill preserved in the company’s records showed she had rung the desk, then occupied by her deputy Andy Coulson, for 38 minutes on the Friday she was in Dubai and then again on the Saturday as the police were being pressed hard to confirm the story. She texted Coulson as well. Also, as it happened, she and her (then) husband had been joined on holiday by a British tourist who later witnessed in court that she had had lengthy phone calls, including one where she said she had to make a call about “the missing Surrey girl”.

Brooks said she could not remember that. She insisted that she was unaware of the whole saga.   She had never read about it, she said, even when she returned to NoW the next week, and not looked at the story that her own paper had published including the quotation of the voicemail verbatim.  She never knew, she said, that her managing editor was still pressing the Surrey police to confirm the whole story.

She was acquitted.

4 Comments

  1. swatantra says:

    Yes Michael, Rebekah’s been proved innocent.
    The Jury says so.

  2. Robert says:

    Yes she is found not guilty by a Jury but not the Jury of public opinion, I’m sure old man Murdock will now see a place for her in his regime..

    But did she know anything! the court did not think so, and as such she is innocent my own opinion is she did but that’s just my opinion.

  3. Doreen Ogden says:

    Is it true the brother of David Cameron was her QC.? Just interested.

  4. ed says:

    @Doreen Exactly lol.

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