News of the World has been accused of hacking murdered teenager Milly Dowler's phone
The News of the World has been accused of hacking into murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s phone.
It is claimed that Glenn Mulcaire, an investigator working for the tabloid paper, targeted the 13-year-old’s phone in March 2002, shortly after she was taken near her home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.
Mulcaire allegedly hacked into Milly’s voicemail service and deleted messages that he had already listened to in order to free up space for new ones.
The Guardian quotes one source as saying that this deliberate action gave’false hope’ to friends and family, who mistakenly believed that Milly herself had deleted the messages and was still alive.
Sadly, by that time, she had already been murdered by nightcub doorman, Levi Bellfield, who was convicted of the killing last month at the Old Bailey.
‘Sally and Bob Dowler have been through so much grief and trauma without further distressing revelations to them regarding the loss of their daughter,’ says Mark Lewis, the solicitor representing Sally and Bob Dowler.
‘It is distress heaped upon tragedy to learn the News of the World have no humanity at such a terrible time. The fact that they were prepared to act in such a heinous way that could have jeopardised the police investigation and gave them false hope is despicable.’
This is the latest in a long line of phone hacking allegations surrounding the Sunday paper, which have previously been confined to the private lives of celebrities such as Sienna Miller.
A spokesman for News International says: ‘This particular case is clearly a development of great concern and we will be conducting our own inquiries as a result. We will obviously co-operate fully with any police request on this should we be asked.’
The alleged hacking took place under the editorship of Rebekah Brooks, the now chief executive of News International, who claims that she knew nothing about the affair and is ‘deeply shocked.’
Police are set to meet News of the World to discuss the allegations, but it is reported that Rebekah Brooks will not resign.