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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images Rebekah Brooks (left) standing next to Sara Payne in October 2002.

News of the World targeted phone given to Sara Payne as a gift

Sara Payne, whose eight-year-old daughter Sarah was abducted and murdered in 2000, wrote a column for the News of the World’s final edition.

SARA PAYNE, THE mother of eight-year-old Sarah Payne who was abducted and murdered in 2000, has been told that her phone was targeted by the News of the World.

The Guardian reports that the News of the World gave the phone to Payne as a gift. Brooks, and the paper, had supported a campaign to bring about Sara’s Law, which gave parents access to information about paedophiles living in their area.

Eight-year-old Sarah Payne had been abducted and murdered by convicted sex offender Roy Whiting.

It’s emerged that Payne’s details were found among the notes of Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator hired by the News of the World.

Brooks and Sara Payne had become good friends, and The Guardian reports that the bereaved mother had considered those at the News of the World as friends and allies. Brooks released a statement today saying that the allegations are ‘abhorrent’, while Payne is said to ‘devastated’. Brooks resigned as chief executive of News International, News of the World’s parent company, on 15 July.

Brooks has claimed that she never heard the name of Glenn Mulcaire until 2006, and said she only learned of the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone when it emerged a few weeks ago.

Payne had written an article (reproduced here by The Telegraph) for the final edition of the News of the World, calling the paper a ‘force for good’. In that article she mentioned the rumours that her own phone had been hacked, but dismissed it as just a rumour.

Read more in the Guardian: News of the World targeted phone of Sarah’s Payne’s mother>

Phone hacking scandal: Sara Payne’s NOTW article in full>

Listen: Piers Morgan drawn into hacking scandal after 2009 interview emerges>

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