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Thursday 18 September 2014

NOTW Trial: Andy Coulson 'used me to take blame'

Emily Pennink

Published 16/05/2014 | 13:56

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Former editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson
Former editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson
Clive Goodman. Photo: John Stillwell
Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson arrives at the Old Bailey in London, as the phone hacking trial continues. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 22, 2014. See PA story COURTS Hacking. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson would have "smelled a rat" if a journalist caught phone hacking had tried to catch him on tape admitting he was "up to his armpits too", jurors heard today.

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Former royal editor Clive Goodman told the hacking trial he made recordings and notes of conversations in the weeks after his arrest for hacking in 2006 because he was suspicious his old boss was "manipulating" him into taking all the blame.

But he never tried to get Coulson to admit his involvement on tape because Coulson gave him "slender" hope he could come back to the paper, he told jurors.

The 56-year-old was being cross examined by Coulson's lawyer Timothy Langdale QC about a series of discussions in the months before he pleaded guilty with private detective Glenn Mulcaire.

On his feelings following his arrest on August 8, Goodman said: "I felt I was being manipulated by Mr Coulson into taking the full blame for hacking at the NotW. It turned out to be the case at the time.

"I felt the promises they were making to me were not genuine. I felt they were interfering with my legal case and I felt I could not trust them and I felt I needed some protection."

But in the days after his arrest, he said: "I was trying to hang on to a career and he was holding that one slender hope I might be able to come back."

Mr Langdale asked why he did not try to get Coulson to admit his involvement on tape in a later phone conversation in November that year.

Goodman replied: "Andy Coulson is an editor, a journalist of some 20, 30 years, had we had a conversation like this - by the way you were up to your armpits too - he would have smelled a rat.

"That would have been the end of the conversation, the end of my legal representation, the end of my career."

Goodman, of Addlestone, Surrey, is on trial at the Old Bailey for allegedly conspiring with Coulson to commit misconduct in public office.

Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and Stuart Kuttner are accused of conspiring to hack phones. All seven defendants deny the charges against them.

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