A factual account of the trial of British newspaper journalists for phone hacking, corruption of officials and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Among the accused were the former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. This book covers every twist and turn of the case, which was heard in London in 2013 and 2014.
Blow by blow: Crown v Rebekah Brooks & Others
Peter Jukes, an award-winning TV crime writer, starts at the beginning. In October 2013, an eight-month trial starts at the most famous court complex in London, the Old Bailey. It's a showdown that pits tabloid newspaper executives from Rupert Murdoch's News International against the British state.The journalists are accused of phone hacking, corrupting public officials and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. After years of cover up involving News International, the Metropolitan Police and the Government, the judge tells the jury: "British justice is on trial".
Insight into British journalism and politics
After tweeting the first few days, Peter Jukes, the author accidentally becomes the UK's first crowd-funded journalist. New media exposes the old as the trial lays bare the venality and surveillance of the News of the World: its ability to pry into the lives of anyone who matters, at any moment. A Hollywood actress. A missing girl. A Cabinet minister.It's also a battle.
Battle of wits between London's top lawyers
With Rupert Murdoch's millions, seven defendants hire London's top QCs. Rebekah Brooks has the £5,000-a-day silk for corporations, Jonathan Laidlaw.Several times the multi-million pound cases totters on the brink of collapse.Drawing on verbatim court exchanges and exhibits, Jukes reveals the daily reality and grand strategies of a major criminal trial.He gives the secret of Rebekah Brooks' 14 days in the witness box.He explains why during a cigarette break a defence lawyer gave him a wry smile.And he discloses the failings of the Crown Prosecution Service which contribute to the (to some) shocking verdicts.
Top court reporting (Nick Davies, The Guardian)
Remarkable. I feel I now know all the key players and why some defendants were found guilty and some not, despite never having spent a minute at the trial(Professor Stewart Purvis, former ITN editor)
Written in a chatty, gossipy style that brings the courtroom drama alive.(Nigel Pauley, Daily Star journalist)
Absorbing and highly revealing... What's striking is how the mass of cash Rupert Murdoch threw at the defence disrupted, disturbed and thwarted the prosecution (Dan Waddell, ex-redtop reporter)
This book is that rare beast a ground-breaking volume that's also entertaining and informative... There's a little of Dickens sharp observational eye in his accounts of the David v Goliath battle that took place in Court 12. Naturally, this being the underlings of billionaire Rupert Murdoch versus The Crown, the normal rules were suspended.(Paddy French, Press Gang)
A must read for anyone who wants to understand not only our media, but power in Britain(Owen Jones, author The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It)
Peter Jukes is a British journalist and screenwriter. His television credits include devising and writing In Deep (subsequently developed with Paul Haggis for the USA network), the first two episodes of the the first series of the Emmy award winning Waking the Dead, BAFTA award winning Sea of Souls, and the first episodes of Inspector Lynley with original storylines.
As a journalist he has written regularly for various newspapers and magazines, including Newsweek, New Statesman, The Daily Beast, Politico, The New Republic and was nominated for several awards for his coverage of the phone hacking trial in London, the longest and most expensive criminal trial in British history, recounted in his book Beyond Contempt.
He is co-author of Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder Exposed and director of the Byline Festival. His 2012 book, The Fall of the House of Murdoch, was described by the former Sunday Times editor Sir Harold Evans as "a roaring great read." His account of living in the modern city, A Shout in the Street (Faber & Faber, 1990), was called "a dream of a book" by John Berger. He lives in London.
Preface: The Untold Story 6
Legal Teams 17
Not War and Peace 18
Passion and Prejudice 31
Sex, Lies and Voicemails 48
Demolition Job 62
Mistrial of the Century 74
I'll Be the Judge of That 84
Hostile Witness 97
The Office Cat 112
Interlude: The Trial that Might Have Been 128
Holding Court 136
Rogue Male 158
Commedia Dell'Arte 166
Last Man Standing 184
Route to Verdict 197
Back in the Box 206
Truth's Boots 221