Wednesday 21 February 2018

Hackers scored own goal with 'affair' gaffe

Sam Marsden in London

'NEWS Of The World' journalists wrongly concluded that the then Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) chairman Gordon Taylor was having an affair after hacking his phone, the Leveson Inquiry heard yesterday.

Lawyer Mark Lewis, who represents a number of victims of alleged hacking, said the newspaper's reporters misinterpreted a voicemail message from a woman who was thanking Mr Taylor for speaking at her father's funeral.

He said a photographer working for the paper took a picture of Joanne Armstrong, then the PFA's in-house solicitor, having lunch with Mr Taylor in the mid-2000s.

The lawyer wrote to the Sunday tabloid, ordering it not to publish the photograph and threatening to apply for an injunction.

Mr Lewis said he believed that the 'News Of The World' incorrectly thought Mr Taylor was having an affair after his voicemails were illegally intercepted.

The PFA chairman had spoken at the funeral of Ms Armstrong's father and she left a message on his phone the next day saying, "Thank you for yesterday, you were wonderful," the inquiry heard.

Mr Lewis said: "The tabloid journalist who knew of that message added two and two and made 84. They couldn't possibly conceive of any other explanation.

"If it hadn't been so sad, it would have been funny."

Irish Independent

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