Written evidence submitted by the Crown
I refer to your letter dated 9 July 2009 and
your request for the Crown Prosecution Service to submit written
evidence to the Committee on the inquiry into the prosecution
of Clive Goodman.
I have today announced the results of my examination
of the material that was supplied to the Crown Prosecution Service
by the police in this case. I enclose for your information a copy
of my detailed announcement.
I hope that this announcement will reassure
you that the Crown Prosecution Service considers allegations of
the unlawful interception of telephone systems as extremely serious,
and will act accordingly when police investigations are brought
to us to consider prosecution.
DPP's findings in relation to "phone
A STATEMENT BY KEIR STARMER QC, DIRECTOR
OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
On 9 July 2009 I issued a statement indicating
that I had asked for an urgent examination of the material that
was supplied to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) by the police
in this case.
I made this statement not because I had any reason
to consider that there was anything inappropriate in the prosecutions
that were undertaken, but to satisfy myself and assure the public
that the appropriate actions were taken in relation to that material.
That examination has now been completed by the
Special Crime Division of CPS Headquarters (SCD).
Following a complaint by the Royal Household,
the Metropolitan Police Service first contacted the CPS on 20
April 2006 seeking guidance about the alleged interception of
mobile telephone voicemail messages. The potential victims were
members of the Royal Household.
During April and May 2006 there followed a series
of case conferences and exchanges between the CPS reviewing lawyer
dealing with the case and the police in relation to these alleged
interceptions. Advice was given about the nature of evidence to
be obtained so that the police could make policy decisions about
who ought to be treated as victims. Advice was also given about
how to identify the individual(s) responsible for these alleged
During June and July 2006 there were further
discussions and conferences between the reviewing lawyer, the
police and leading counsel instructed by the CPS. On 8 August
2006 the reviewing lawyer made a charging decision in respect
of Clive Goodman and Glen Mulcaire. They were arrested the same
On 9 August 2006 Goodman and Mulcaire were charged
with conspiracy to intercept communications, contrary to section
1 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977, and eight substantive offences
of unlawful interception of communications, contrary to section
1 (1) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The
charges related to accessing voice messages left on the mobile
phones of members of the Royal Household.
The two were bailed to appear at the City of
London Magistrates' Court on 16 August 2006 when they were sent
to the Central Criminal Court for trial.
When Mulcaire's business premises were searched
on 8 August, in addition to finding evidence that supported the
conspiracy between him and Goodman regarding the Royal Household
allegations, the police also uncovered further evidence of interception
and found a number of invoices. At that stage, it appeared these
invoices were for payments that Mulcaire had received from the
News of the World newspaper related to research that he had conducted
in respect of a number of individuals, none of whom had any connection
with the Royal Household. They included politicians, sports personalities
and other well known individuals.
The prosecution team (CPS and Metropolitan Police
Service) therefore had to decide how to address this aspect of
the case against Mulcaire. At a case conference in August 2006,
attended by the reviewing lawyer, the police and leading counsel,
decisions were made in this respect and a prosecution approach
From a prosecution point of view what was important
was that any case brought to court properly reflected the overall
criminal conduct of Goodman and Mulcaire. It was the collective
view of the prosecution team that to select five or six potential
victims would allow the prosecution properly to present the case
to the court and in the event of convictions, ensure that the
court had adequate sentencing powers.
To that end there was a focus on the potential
victims where the evidence was strongest, where there was integrity
in the data, corroboration was available and where any charges
would be representative of the potential pool of victims. The
willingness of the victims to give evidence was also taken into
account. Any other approach would have made the case unmanageable
and potentially much more difficult to prove.
This is an approach that is adopted routinely
in cases where there is a large number of potential offences.
For any potential victim not reflected in the charges actually
brought, it was agreed that the police would inform them of the
Adopting this approach, five further counts
were added to the indictment against Mulcaire alone based on his
unlawful interception of voicemail messages left for Max Clifford,
Andrew Skylet, Gordon Taylor, Simon Hughes and Elle MacPherson.
In addition to obtaining evidence from these
persons, the police also asked the reviewing lawyer to take a
charging decision against one other suspect. On analysis, there
was insufficient evidence to prosecute that suspect and a decision
was made in November 2006 not to charge. So far as I am aware,
this individual was neither a journalist on, nor an executive
of, any national newspaper.
This progress in the case meant that its preparation
was completed by the time Goodman and Mulcaire appeared at the
Central Criminal Court on 29 November 2006 before Mr Justice Gross.
When they did appear at court, Goodman and Mulcaire both pleaded
guilty to one count of conspiracy to intercept communicationsthe
voicemail messages left for members of the Royal Household. Mulcaire
alone pleaded guilty to the five further substantive counts in
respect of Max Clifford, Andrew Skylet, Gordon Taylor, Simon Hughes
and Elle MacPherson. The case was then adjourned to obtain probation
reports on the defendants.
On 26 January 2007 sentencing took place. Goodman
was sentenced to four months' imprisonment and Mulcaire to a total
of six months' imprisonment, with a confiscation order made against
him in the sum of £12,300.
As part of my examination of the case, I have
spoken to the then DPP Sir Ken Macdonald QC as he and the Attorney
General at the time, Lord Goldsmith, were both regularly briefedas
would be expected with such a high profile case.
As a result of what I have been told I am satisfied
that in the cases of Goodman and Mulcaire, the CPS was properly
involved in providing advice both before and after charge; that
the Metropolitan Police provided the CPS with all the relevant
information and evidence upon which the charges were based; and
that the prosecution approach in charging and prosecuting was
proper and appropriate.
There has been much speculation about whether or
not persons other than those identified above were the victims
of unlawful interception of their mobile telephones. There has
also been much speculation about whether other suspects were identified
or investigated at the time. Having examined the material that
was supplied to the CPS by the police in this case, I can confirm
that no victims or suspects other than those referred to above
were identified to the CPS at the time. I am not in a position
to say whether the police had any information on any other victims
or suspects that was not passed to the CPS.
In light of my findings, it would not be appropriate
to re-open the cases against Goodman or Mulcaire, or to revisit
the decisions taken in the course of investigating and prosecuting
However, if and insofar as there may now be
further information relating to other possible victims and suspects,
that should be reported to the police who have responsibility
for deciding whether or not to conduct a criminal investigation.
I have no power to direct the police to conduct any such investigation.
In conducting this review I have put a good
deal of detailed information in the public domain. This demonstrates
my commitment that the CPS should be visible, transparent and
accountable. It should also assure the public about the integrity
of the exercise I have undertaken.