London bombing survivor threatens to sue over hacking
04:00 08 July 2011
A victim of the 7/7 attacks says she will sue News of the World if she finds out she was phone hacked
A SURVIVOR of the London bombings has threatened to sue the News of the World over the phone hacking scandal.
Beverli Rhodes, who had been travelling to work on the tube blown up near Kings Cross on July 7, 2005, told KoS Media on the 6th anniversary of the attacks this week that she feared she had been hacked and had commissioned a lawyer to look into the matter.
The Kennington resident also revealed a former employee at the shamed newspaper had admitted to her that phone calls between Ms Rhodes and reporters had been taped.
“I will certainly be suing if I find that they have hacked,” she said.
The 50-year-old, who suffered severe injuries to her chest, leg and face as well as post traumatic stress disorder, said she was currently away from home and had not been able to check whether she had been contacted by police.
This week it emerged that relatives of victims of the bombings had been contacted by Scotland Yard warning them that messages on their mobile phones may have been intercepted by Glenn Mulciare, a private investigator employed by the News of the World, in the days following the attacks.
It followed the shocking revelation that Mulcaire had hacked into voicemail messages of murdered schoolgirl Millie Dowler, which prompted police to turn their attention to other high profile cases such as the Soham murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells, where it was alleged he had targeted Jessica’s father.
Relationships between police and journalists have also come under the spotlight after emails emerged of alleged payments to officers by the paper.
Former News of the World journalist and features executive, Paul McMullan, who is now landlord of The Castle Inn pub in Dover, said phone hacking Millie Dowler’s phone was a “step too far”.
“Phone hacking isn’t wrong in every case and it has got great results, for example, when Lord Prescott was exposed as having an affair and lying and cheating on his wife, or the expenses fiddling,” he said.
“But it was allowed to get out of control. This is a matter of decency and this is an appalling case. It went too far, no one stopped it.
“Rebekah Brooks, my editor at the time, must resign. She gave me my job in 1995 and I was proud to say I was a News of the World reporter. I was then promoted to an executive.
“For the first time I feel ashamed to have worked there. As a father-of-two myself I don’t want to even imagine what it must have been like for Millie Dowler’s parents.
“It also looks like messages deleted from the phone weren’t just silly ones from her friends to clear space but also other messages so the newspaper could get exclusives.”
Professor of journalism at the University of Kent, Tim Luckhurst, who is former editor and deputy editor of The Scotsman, called for a public inquiry into the matter.
“There needs to be a public inquiry held under the Inquiries Act 2005 with a judge, which means witnesses can be summoned to appear and required to answer questions under oath,” he said.
Prof Lukchurst said other titles were also involved in the shamed practices.
“It’s not just the News of the World and by no means just News International. Relationships between newspapers and police and politicians must be looked at.
“Politicians seem to take credit for all this coming out, but this was exposed because another newspaper – The Guardian – published it. It was journalists uncovering the wrongdoing.”
He said actions of the News of the World in the Millie Dowler case were “beneath contempt”.
“I’m surprised Rebekah Brooks is still chief executive of News International.”
He added that the press should be self-regulated, but there needed to be better training for journalists.
Whitstable Labour Party is staging protests in the town’s newsagents on Sunday (July 10) at 11am to discourage purchases of the News of the World.