back to article NotW 'targeted' phone of Sarah Payne's mum

The mother of murdered eight-year-old girl Sarah Payne reportedly had her mobile phone targeted by the News of the World's private investigator Glen Mulcaire. Ex-News International boss Rebekah Brooks, who edited the Sunday tabloid between 2000 and 2003, has repeatedly championed Sarah's Law, a scheme that allows parents to …


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  1. Levente Szileszky

    Rebekah Brooks... one ugly, disgusting person. I live on the other side of the Atlantic but that's how she comes across: an ugly, opportunistic, unscrupulous cold bitch, with no moral compass whatsoever.

    A good fit for Murdoch, that is.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not all bad...

      apparently she was deeply moved by some of the condolence messages left on Amy Winehouse's voicemail.

      1. Gordon Barret

        That would just be silly

        Leaving condolence messages on the voicemail of a dead person.

        Who do they think is ever going to hear them?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. LittleTyke

        In NotW 'targeted' phone of Sarah Payne's mum

        Were some deleted to make way for new ones.....

    2. David Beck

      Job description for tabloid journalist

      You might want to copyright the phrase.

  2. CaptainHook

    Why Hack It

    Given what we now know about NotW, I would suspect that the all the services for that phone such as voicemail would have been setup by NotW employees before the phone ever reached Sara Payne, they already had the passwords, would Sara Payne have changed the PINs?

    In fact given the time frame, is it possible Sara Payne was one of the first victims and giving the phone was necessary because the voicemail interception technique hadn't been perfected yet?

    I wonder if that phone/logs from the service provide still exists, probably not.

    1. David Beck

      because the voicemail interception technique hadn't been perfected yet?

      You do realise the "interception technique" of which you speak is ringing the voicemail number and guessing the PIN. Hardly a complicated process.

      I don't doubt the NOTW might have given Payne a phone to be able to listen to the voicemails, after all she was a major investment for the company. She was an unknown quantity and it would be a lack of due diligence if they did not want to know if she was talking to another paper.

      1. CaptainHook


        but I wonder if even they realised how easy it would be when they first started.

  3. Nash


    i really am getting bored of hearing about this phone hacking "scandal" now....can we move on please?

    1. jm83

      Re: Yawn

      Then stop effing reading articles about it.

      Some of us are still interested.

    2. schnide

      Unlike most of the stories in the NOTW..

      ..the phone hacking saga does not exist for your entertainment, but is actually real news. This goes to the very top - the Prime Minister, and the police. If it's moved on for the sake of something more exciting to you, it will be swept under the carpet, and nothing will change.

      Not that it's an easy process as it is - anecdotally, I know far too many people who say "oh isn't it terrible they hacked a dead girl's phone? Still, it was right of the NOTW to close" while holding today's copy of The Sun, without a trace of irony or self-awareness.

    3. Brezin Bardout

      Here's some help with moving on

      Step 1: Stop reading news items about it.

    4. Gav

      Official NI position

      Yeah, yeah, we do wish people would stop going on about this. Didn't we make it clear months ago? Nothing more to see... rogue reporters.... definitely nothing to do with anyone else.. didn't know a thing about it. Move along now. Excitement over... everyone back to work.


      Oooh look! Is that someone famous over there snogging someone?! And what about those liberals!

    5. Rob

      I understand...

      ... you're clearly upset that you don't have an alternative to the Daily Fail to read.

  4. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    While I appreciate Mrs Payne needed to publicize the story to get her cause as much attention as it deserved, I would have thought twice getting too chummy with media-corps like these. They are, have always been and will always be, two-faced lying scum purely interested in copy sales to fill their coffers.

    1. Sam Therapy

      Taking advantage

      You're right but it's always too easy for some unscrupulous person to take advantage of another when they are extremely distressed. Things like judgement and objectivity go out the window when extreme emotions are involved. It's how most cults operate; targeting the needy and/or weak, offering "help".

      I have no doubt Mrs Payne honestly believed she was doing the right thing. It's such a damn shame some heartless, immoral bastards manipulated her in order to further their own agenda.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @Sam Therapy

        "You're right but it's always too easy for some unscrupulous person to take advantage of another when they are extremely distressed. "

        This sort of thing infuriates me.

        As a former NoTW journalist it's very hard work to keep faking that level of sincerity hour after hour as they continue to blubber on about "She was my little angel, who could have done this" blah, blah when what you really want to do is ransack her bedroom to see if there's anything juicy in her diary, or if the parents have any pron she might have found.

        Some days £70k PA (plus bonus) hardly seemed worth it. I'd barely have enough left over for a bottle of decent whiskey, 50g of Coke and a couple of East European hookers on a Friday night.

        Yours sociopathically, A Journalist.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    And lo dost it come to pass that ...

    Those who lie with snakes get bitten.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Phone hacking even more extensive that previoiusly thought

    Sources have recently revealed that many more phones may have been hacked than anyone previously suspected after Police discovered a books containing literally 100,000s of phone numbers in Glen Mulcaire's house. In these books, entitled "BT Phone Directory", there were page after page of names with associated phone numbers all meticulously alphabetically ordered. A Police spokesman stated that "it was going to take a very long time to inform all these people that Geln Mulcaire had access to their phone number - and we're going to need a lot of overtime pay"

    1. David Beck

      Suspect this is closer to the mark than generally accepted

      If I had a job "hacking" phones (ringing the voicemail number and guessing the pin), the first thing I would do is keep a good record of all of the numbers I came across as they might well come in handy in the future. People often leave their number when they leave a voicemail message. This simple fact could explain the quantity of numbers and notes found. So if I "hack" 200 numbers, how many new numbers can I gather by listening to the messages of those 200.

      I'm not suggesting the NOTW did not "hack" phones but I am suggesting Mulcaire's notes may not reflect just NOTW funded activities.

      Finally, if anyone believes that the NOTW was the only "news" organisation doing this, I have a bridge they might be interested in.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No surprise there.

    They were only ever exploiting her.The Sarah's Law campaign was only ever intended to sell papers.

  8. Tegne

    Scumbag journos found to be a bit more scummy than initially thought shocker.

    Is there a journalistic equivalent of the phrase 'Lulz'.... "NOTW reporter discovered to have kidnapped Maddie 'for the Storeez' "

    1. Kevin 43


      Have we had any "NOTW hacked the McCann's phone" stories yet?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Probably only a matter of time.

    2. Magnus_Pym

      Not by me...

      ... I always though they were the type of scum that even scum disowns.

      P.S. noticed how the new Sun ad campaign refers to the 'Sun on Saturday'. The sacked NotW journo's won't have long to wait for their new jobs on the Sun on Sunday. I for one can't wait for the pun-tastic ads when that launches. Not.

      P.P.S. I wonder it will start up with a campaign to clean up journalistic standards?

  9. Winkypop Silver badge

    El Reg aside, never talk to the media


    1. Tegne

      Even the local rags...

      They managed to persuade my dad to let them photo him hanging out of his bedroom window holding his phone like a tw@t to illustrate a story about poor mobile reception in his area.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Too Late

      Myself and some friends once sold details of a public school sex scandal to The Star.

      We tried to sell it to The Sun, but they weren't interested. "We're a family newspaper", they said.

  10. louis walsh's toilet

    but but....

    rebekka knew nothing about it...she was too busy punching grant mitchell........

  11. Richard Porter

    Now tell me something that surprises me!

    More phone numbers from Glen Mulcare's notebook don't.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sarah's Law

    IMHO, nice idea *if* the database is always correct. Which it isn't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not such a good idea.

      Even if you ignore the potential vigilantes as this information always gets out.

      A friend of mine was raped by her father.

      Sarah's law could out her as a victim without her consent.

      Something she would find absolutely devastating and the fact that everyone knew would make it almost impossible for her to get on with her life.

      If you ever need to think of the children then surely it's the actual victims.

  13. hokum


    They probably had been dialling into voicemail prior to Sara Payne, but this was probably a step down for most hacks. I would think it is almost inevitable that back when networks were analogue they simply used a scanner to eavesdrop on calls.

    It could be an interesting experiment to recruit the power of the internet masses to trawl the online archives of tabloid papers searching for news stories involving call transcripts, texts and voicemails and log them in a database. Could help show the general public how widespread a practice it was (or is...).

  14. b166er


    May I volunteer Sc-oopz

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