The paper’s former royal editor Jane Kerr, who entered the witness box after the Duke of Sussex, said it was “highly unlikely” her ex-boss would have done so, however, and that Mr Morgan “might say he had been speaking to somebody at the palace”, as he “took a really genuine interest in royal stories”.
During the duke’s nearly eight-hour testimony this week, he accused Mr Morgan of “horrific personal attacks and intimidation”, as he was cross-examined about his allegations of unlawful information-gathering at Mirror Group Newspaper titles.
After the royal’s barrister concluded his cross-examination of Ms Kerr on Thursday, who he alleged had commissioned third-parties to obtain information for stories 900 times while working at the Mirror, Harry’s co-claimant, Coronation Street actor Nikki Sanderson, entered the witness box to testify against the publisher.
Piers Morgan could have ‘injected’ information from voicemails into stories, court told
At a glance: Key moments from Prince Harry and Mirror journalist’s testimony
Prince Harry says he launched phone hacking cases to protect wife Meghan
Duke fights back tears as he describes strain of press intrusion
Harry defends lack of any call data between his phone and Mirror journalists
Caroline Flack’s mother praises Prince Harry for taking on ‘horrendous’ press
14:55 , Andy Gregory
Here are more comments from Caroline Flack’s mother, Christine, about Prince Harry’s trial against Mirror Group Newspapers.
Appearing on Jeremy Vine’s Channel 5 chat show, the late TV presenter’s mother said: “Carrie was the same in her life, whenever a story appeared in the paper it causes distrust among your friends and your family, she’d say ‘Mum, have you said anything?’
“I think Harry is doing it for everybody ... and I think he’s very brave because he is getting such an awful lot of stick as well, and the people that are reporting on him are the same people he is in court against. So, it’s doubly hard.”
Ms Flack said she herself had been pursued by the paparazzi after her daughter was arrested and later found dead in February 2020 at the age of 40.
She added: “It’s horrendous what the press do, horrendous, and I’m just so pleased he’s doing something about it.”
Opinion | Being namechecked in court by Harry reveals his ignorance about journalism
14:14 , Andy Gregory
Our world affairs editor Kim Sengupta writes:
It was a huge surprise to be told that I have been named in the High Court in the trial of Prince Harry against Mirror Group Newspapers. I have had few dealings with the royal family in my lengthy career as a journalist, and what I cover – namely foreign affairs and wars – should not have involved me in this case about alleged phone hacking.
The Sunday People had published a story in May 2005 about a knee injury suffered by Harry, and described complaints by his fellow cadets that the prince was being given “preferential treatment” and was being let off taking part in “gruelling marches”.
Prince Harry told the court that the story must have come from phone hacking, and that its appearance had led to him “worrying [he] couldn’t trust anyone for fear of that it would end up splashed across the tabloids”. So serious was the effect it had on him that it led to “distrust [he] ended up having at Sandhurst with the medical staff”.
Andrew Green KC, who is representing Mirror Group Newspapers, pointed out that a similar story had appeared in The Independent. The story was by me “the respected Independent defence correspondent” - an unexpected compliment, and showed that what was happening at Sandhurst was of public interest.
Our story, which was not very long, did not come from phone hacking. The Independent did not hack Harry’s phone or anyone else’s, and nobody had ever claimed that it had. It came from something that happens all the time in journalism – information from contacts.
Mirror journalist discusses story about ‘cocaine parties'
13:52 , Andy Gregory
Quizzed earlier today by Prince Harry’s lawyer, former Mirror journalist Jane Kerr said the source referred to in a story about Harry and “cocaine ecstasy and GHB parties” may have come from a source who was a contact of Jeff Edwards, the Mirror’s crime reporter.
In her witness statement, Ms Kerr said she was “aware that there was a payment to a confidential source in respect of this article” but added that the source was not one of her contacts.
Ms Kerr denies involvement in voicemail interception or “hacking” and denies instructing private investigators to gather information unlawfully. She said in her statement: “To be accused of such a thing is extremely upsetting.”
Proceedings turn to Coronation Street actor Nikki Sanderson
13:29 , Andy Gregory
Prince Harry’s fellow claimant, former Coronation Street actor Nikki Sanderson, is now the focus of today’s proceedings.
Sanderson is bringing a damages claim against MGN over the alleged unlawful gathering of information, including by voicemail interception. In May, the 39-year-old told the High Court that she was “physically assaulted” in the street following “false insinuations” published in articles by MGN.
The details of the exact articles in question have yet to be disclosed.
Sanderson first joined Coronation Street in 1999 as Candice Stowe, recurring character Sarah Platt’s (Tina O’Brien) friend from school. Prior to that, she had appeared in the children’s drama called Children’s Ward.
My colleague Peony Hirwani has more detail in this report:
Mirror journalist denies schoolboy Harry was ‘highly prized target'
13:08 , Andy Gregory
The Mirror’s former royal editor Jane Kerr has rejected the suggestion that Prince Harry was “a highly prized target” for journalists while at Eton, Peter Stubley reports.
The Duke of Sussex’s barrister David Sherborne questioned her in detail about two stories which referred to Harry breaking his thumb aged 16 and catching “kissing disease” glandular fever aged 17.
Mr Sherborne said they were “hardly consistent” with her claim that the princes were “off limits” while they were still at school.
Kerr said the injury story was a follow up of a Press Association story ‘which has effectively been confirmed by the palace.”
She claimed the information that doctors had told Harry not to play football for a few weeks “would have come from the palace”. She rejected the suggestion she would have got the information from a private investigator.
Asked about the kissing story, which was marked “exclusive”, she said: “it was such a long time ago, I was writing hundreds of stories, I don’t remember the background of the story.”
Mr Sherborne said “stories about Prince Harry were a highly prized target”.
Kerr said: “I don’t think that’s true. It wouldn’t have been my decision to run the story, it would have been the editor [Piers Morgan].
Piers Morgan could have ‘injected’ information obtained from voicemails into stories, court told
Peter Stubley reports:
Former Mirror editor Piers Morgan could have “injected” information that he had obtained from voicemails into royal stories, the High Court was told.
David Sherborne, acting for the Duke of Sussex, made the allegation while questioning the newspaper’s former royal correspondent Jane Kerr, as he noted that one story about Harry contained information that did not appear in other reports and references to the the private thoughts of the then-Prince Charles.
“That is information that would precisely have come from people listening to voicemail messages,” the lawyer said, adding: “Mr Morgan may have injected information he obtained from voicemails.”
Ms Kerr replied: “I can’t say he didn’t but I think it would be highly unlikely”, and said that if Morgan contributed to a story she did not know where the information came from.
“He might say he had a been speaking to somebody at the palace,” Kerr said. “He took a really genuine interest in royal stories and the work and would often come over.”
Courtroom sketch shows cross-examination of Mirror journalist
12:16 , Andy Gregory
Here is a courtroom sketch of former Mirror journalist Jane Kerr, who has been questioned by Prince Harry’s lawyer David Sherborne once again this morning, with the duke’s fellow claimant, Coronation Street actor Nikki Sanderson, soon to follow.
One journalist has this take on the atmosphere in the High Court today.
Sherborne has repeatedly asked Kerr where her stories about Prince Harry & the quotes in those pieces came from. Given the length of time that has passed since Kerr wrote these articles she has mostly answered “I really can’t remember where it’s come from”.
— Sarah Hajibagheri (@SaraHajibagheri) June 8, 2023
Caroline Flack ‘knew phone was being hacked when seeing Prince Harry’, mother says
10:59 , Andy Gregory
Caroline Flack “knew her phone was being hacked” at the time she was seeing Prince Harry, the late TV presenter’s mother has claimed, echoing his claims in court yesterday.
Calling the Duke of Sussex “incredibly brave”, Christine Flack said Harry was “doing this for everybody” as he takes on Mirror Group Newspapers over allegations of unlawful information-gathering.
She said: “Carrie was the same [as the duke] in her life – whenever a story appeared in the paper, it causes distress among your friends and your family. She said, ‘Mum, have you said anything?’
“But when she was seeing Harry, she knew her phone was being hacked, so we used to use a different telephone, and I believe they tried hacking our phones as well.”
💬"I think Prince Harry is doing for this everybody, and he's incredibly brave"
We spoke to the late Caroline Flack's mother, after her daughter was referenced during yesterday's court proceedings.
She's backing Harry's fight against the press.@thejeremyvine | #JeremyVine pic.twitter.com/vnVAlxOIiz
— Jeremy Vine On 5 (@JeremyVineOn5) June 8, 2023
At yesterday’s hearing, the court heard how the duke grew to suspect his friend Caroline after the pair were photographed by photographers waiting under a car for them at a dinner party, with the pictures appearing in a 2009 story in The People headlined, “Harry’s date with Gladiator star”.
Former Mirror journalist Jane Kerr back in witness box
10:19 , Andy Gregory
Former Mirror journalist Jane Kerr is back in the witness box this morning, after the judge criticised “timetabling” issues at the day’s close yesterday.
Prince Harry’s lawyer David Sherborne said he had around 90 minutes of further questions for the paper’s former royal editor, which was scheduled to start slightly earlier this morning, as Ms Kerr already had a prior appointment.
Opinion | At first, it didn’t look good for Harry – but the tide turned
09:43 , Andy Gregory
Samuel Fishwick, deputy editor of Independent Voices, was at the High Court yesterday. Here is his take on the Duke of Sussex’s historic testimony:
At first, things didn’t look good for Harry: try as we might to strain our ears, his voice deep and breathy, he didn’t put up a shred of hard evidence to explicitly prove any of the Mirror Group Newspapers’ stories – lurid as they were about his youthful misadventures – in question leant on “unlawful information gathering”.
Instead, coincidences were deemed “incredibly suspicious”; “highly suspicious”; or viewed with “incredible amounts of suspiciousness”. There was a lot of suspicion to go around. But where was the crunch? He says he’s been “consistently hacked” for 15 years and that “it could have been happening on a daily basis” – then added that the lack of evidence is “part of the reason I’m here”.
But the tide turned. The funny thing is that Harry actually wears the witness box rather well. He soaked up Green’s early barbs like a plush pin cushion. His broad shoulders filled it squarely. He shrugged off the punchy KC like a prize boxer for more than seven full hours. A bruising encounter, yes. But Green didn’t appear to land any palpable hits.
Former tabloid journalist claims ‘we did much worse’ to Harry’s father
09:29 , Andy Gregory
A former News of the World journalist has claimed “we did much worse” to King Charles as he defended claims of the press treatment of Prince Harry.
Asked whether, as someone who has admitted being involved in phone hacking, he feels any guilt or shame, the newspaper’s former deputy features editor Paul McMullan told Good Morning Britain: “Well not really, because we did much worse to his dad.
“And his dad just dismissed it [as], ‘oh, those annoying newspaper people’, and got over it.”
Accepting the host’s point that phone hacking is illegal, Mr McMullan said, “it was, but well you could say that taking drugs is illegal”.
Claiming to note that there is a “balance” between people in the public sphere’s mental health and press scrutiny of their behaviour, he continued: “I chased [Harry’s late] mother a lot ... I chased her round the world for about five years.”
'As somebody involved [in phone hacking] by your own admission, does that leave you with a sense of guilt and shame?'@susannareid100 questions Paul McMullan, former deputy features editor at News of the World over how they gathered stories pic.twitter.com/NESzS48TVr
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 7, 2023
Lilibet birthday snub is ‘a reflection of strained relationship’ in royal family, expert says
09:04 , Andy Gregory
A royal expert has said that the radio silence from senior members of the royal family on Princess Lilibet Diana’s second birthday reflected the “strained relationship” between the King and Lilibet’s parents, my colleague Ellie Muir reports.
Last year, the official Twitter accounts for the royal family, King Charles and Queen Camilla, plus that of the Prince and Princess of Wales, all wished Lilibet a happy first birthday.
But as the young royal turned two on Sunday, neither of the three Twitter accounts publicly sent their birthday wishes to the young royal, who is the only daughter and second child of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.
Piers Morgan says he will ‘maintain a dignified silence’ on Harry trial
08:49 , Andy Gregory
Former Mirror editor Piers Morgan has claimed he will “maintain a dignified silence” until the Prince Harry’s phone hacking case has concluded, after the Duke of Sussex took aim at the presenter in his testimony this week.
Approached in the street by Channel 4 News reporters, Mr Morgan insisted that he “can’t say anything until this is over”.
Pressed again for this thoughts, he added: “I would love to, as you can probably imagine, but unusually I’m going to maintain a dignified silence until it is all over.”
Piers Morgan says he is keeping a "dignified silence" over Prince Harry's court case.
Morgan was editor of the Daily Mirror at the time Prince Harry accuses the newspaper of phone hacking.
The publisher denies all allegations and Mr Morgan has previously denied phone hacking. pic.twitter.com/9ZqX0AOajc
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) June 7, 2023
9 bombshell claims from Prince Harry in first witness box showdown
08:15 , Matt Mathers
Prince Harry’s decision to become the first royal in 130 years to enter a witness box has revealed a host of claims about his life and relationship with the British press, as he gave five hours of testimony in his blockbuster trial against The Mirror publisher.
Andy Gregory takes a look at some of the most explosive claims made by the prince:
What the papers say - 8 June
07:45 , Matt Mathers
Prince Harry’s legal case against the publisher of the Daily Mirror makes the front of several newspapers this morning.
Metro focuses on a claim by the duke that he found a tracker on the car of Chelsy Davies, his ex-girlfriend.
The Times, Telegraph and i cover comments by an “emotional” duke, who said he went to court to protect wife Meghan.
In a comment piece, the Daily Mail says King Charles must banish Harry to “private life” if he carries on his “facile assault” on the government.
Here’s how the UK press covered day two of the case:
Comment: More like a boy than a man – Prince Harry looked crumpled in the witness box
07:30 , Matt Mathers
Harry has never been very fond of exams, bless him, and this was certainly a cross one: the masterly Andrew Green KC peering down sternly, taking off his glasses to jab home his points, popping them back on again to peer incredulously at the prince whenever he said something silly, writes Samuel Fishwick
Read Samuel’s full piece here:
Why is a US think-tank seeking the release of the Duke of Sussex’s application form?
07:13 , Matt Mathers
Prince Harry has been giving evidence at the High Court in London this week as part of a landmark legal action against Mirror Group Newspapers, which he is suing for damages after alleging that journalists at its titles had resorted to underhand methods to secure stories about him and his family, including phone hacking, gaining information by deception and employing private investigators for unlawful activities.
“How much more blood will stain their typing fingers before someone can put a stop to this madness?” he wrote in his 55-page witness statement, accusing the tabloid media of bad practice.
But the Duke of Sussex, 38, is also currently the subject of a second court case due to get underway on the other side of the Atlantic on Tuesday.
Joe Sommerland takes a look at why:
Harry urged to provide ‘hard evidence’ to back phone hacking claims
Wednesday 7 June 2023 20:07 , Sam Rkaina
Prince Harry was repeatedly asked to provide “hard evidence” to support his newspaper phone hacking claims on Wednesday, as he told the High Court he brought the case to protect his wife Meghan from abuse.
Despite his suspicions of widespread hacking, the Duke of Sussex said he “didn’t know” the answer to questions put to him by Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) lawyer Andrew Green KC 18 times in just three hours.
The 38-year-old prince accused publishers of “industrial-scale destruction of evidence” and blamed a lack of call data on the alleged use of “burner” phones, of which no record would be kept.
“I believe phone-hacking was on an industrial scale across at least three of the papers at the time and that is beyond doubt,” he told the court.
Journalist presented with ‘blagging’ email
Wednesday 7 June 2023 18:30 , Sam Rkaina
In court, Mirror journalist Jane Kerr was questioned about commissioning South Africa-based private investigator Mike Behr to cover a story about Harry’s then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy as her name was on two invoices.
She said she would have asked him to make “calls” on the story and get information from his “contacts”.
David Sherborne read from a joint email written by Mr Behr in December 2007, to Rebecca English, the Daily Mail’s royal editor and Duncan Larcombe, the former royal editor of The Sun, to illustrate the private investigator’s “methods”.
He said “…there we have in wonderful detail all of the flight details, the seat number, flight times, the flight number…” and asked Ms Kerr “He’s blagging flight details, isn’t he?”.
She replied “yes” adding “I don’t know how he got this information, I’ve never seen this.”
He read from another email headlined “Chelsy Airline Search” from Mr Behr to Mr Larcombe which discussed payment arrangements and how he had already billed Ms English.
Supporter shouts ‘we love you’ as Harry leaves court
Wednesday 7 June 2023 18:07 , Sam Rkaina
The Duke of Sussex has left the High Court after giving evidence in his case against Mirror Group Newspapers.
Harry left the Rolls Building in central London at 5.10pm and got into a black Range Rover, ignoring questions from reporters but waving as he got into the car.
Sultana Rasheed, a GP, shouted “thank you Prince Harry, we love you Prince Harry” as the duke left the Rolls Building in a Range Rover.
“I really support Prince Harry, I really support what he stands for,” she said. “I think he’s been badly harassed.”
Watch: Prince Harry leaves High Court after his second day of phone hacking testimony
Wednesday 7 June 2023 17:53 , Andy Gregory
Opinion | More like a boy than a man – Prince Harry crumpled in the witness box
Wednesday 7 June 2023 17:27 , Andy Gregory
Giving his take on today’s events at the High Court, Independent Voices deputy editor Samuel Fishwick writes:
Breezing into the building with a smile flickering around the edges of his beard, Prince Harry started the day cheerfully enough, clutching a wad of notes nervously like a GCSE student rolling out of bed for finals.
By the end, he looked as pale and limp as his lime green tie.
As his lawyer, the nasal silk David Sherbourne KC, asked him how he was holding up, the eyes of the world on him, Prince Harry choked and looked hard at his shoelaces. “It’s a lot,” said Harry.
It’s not every day you see a King’s Counsel duking it out with a prince of the realm. At times here, he was made to look more like a boy again than a grown-up father of two – isolated and alone.
At a glance: Key moments from Prince Harry and Mirror journalist’s testimony today
Wednesday 7 June 2023 17:08 , Andy Gregory
With court proceedings having concluded for the day, after taking in lengthy cross-examination of Prince Harry and former Mirror journalist Jane Kerr, here are some of the key moments of the day:
Prince Harry said he was bringing his cases against newspaper publishers to put a stop to the “absolute intrusion and hate that was coming towards me and my wife and see if there was any way to find a different course of action, rather than relying on the institution’s way”.
The Duke of Sussex appeared to fight back tears as he was asked about his experience in the witness box describing years of press intrusion, to which he eventually replied: “It’s a lot.”
The royal claimed that he had found a tracking device on his ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy’s car which he alleged had been placed there by private investigator.
Asked by MGN’s barrister if he was aware that claimants in the 2015 phone hacking trial against the newspaper publisher had “extensive call data” showing calls to their mobile phones, the duke said he was not aware of that, and insisted the lack of such data in his claim “absolutely” did not suggest he was not also a victim of hacking because journalists could have used “burner phones”.
The duke claimed hacking phones had been a “risk worth the reward” for journalists and claimed that police did not “know how to deal with” such allegations when they first surfaced.
Harry was grilled over a 2006 People article about a visit of his to a lap-dancing club, discussing “quotes from the Lithuanian lap dancer who sat on my lap” in a Sunday People article from 2006.
In some highlights of her own testimony under questioning by Prince Harry’s barrister David Sherborne, the Mirror’s former royal editor and assistant news editor Jane Kerr:
Defended claims she had commissioned third-parties to gather information for news stories “900 times” while working at the Mirror, stating that she “just made the calls” and that “it just didn’t occur to me to ask” how their information was obtained.
Denied Mr Sherborne’s suggestion that she “knew” journalists were using dates of birth to pass to private investigators to access people’s voicemails.
Stated that she has “never asked anyone to do anything unlawful” and that she “did not think there was anything wrong with using “people who were well known to the news desk”, as she “had no reason to suspect that they would be doing anything other than carrying out normal journalistic activity”.
Admitted that she did not want to attend court on Wednesday, after the court was told that she attempted to avoid giving evidence last week but was “ordered” to attend the trial by the judge.
Was defended against what MGN barrister Andrew Green claimed was an “ambush” of her in the witness box by his opposite number Mr Sherborne – a charge the judge rejected.
Was asked to return again to court for a further 90 minutes of questioning by Mr Sherborne, after today’s proceedings appeared to run over time.
Court session concludes with Mirror journalist to return to witness box on Thursday
Wednesday 7 June 2023 16:46 , Andy Gregory
The court session has concluded for the day, with the judge telling Mirror journalist Jane Kerr not to discuss her evidence with anyone until she returns to court tomorrow.
Prince Harry’s barrister David Sherborne said he would likely question Ms Kerr for a further 90 minutes on Thursday despite her not being due to give evidence again and having an appointment mid-morning.
The judge told the barrister he was “running out of patience” with “timetabling issues”, saying: “We seem to run into a problem every day ... [it’s] ridiculous".
Towards the end of her questioning by Mr Sherborne, Ms Kerr was asked about a number of individuals and agencies who she had commissioned to source information for stories while working at the newspaper.
Those included some sources which the barrister said she had used, but were absent from her witness statement, to which Ms Kerr said she had been presented with a list of names and asked to say which of those she recognised.
In discussion of some sources, Ms Kerr said she had “no reason to ask them” whether what they were doing was lawful, adding that she had “no reason to suspect” they were doing anything other than “carrying out usual journalistic activities”.
Mirror journalist ‘never asked anyone to do anything unlawful'
Wednesday 7 June 2023 16:22 , Andy Gregory
Former Daily Mirror journalist Jane Kerr told the court that she has “never asked anyone to do anything unlawful”.
While being cross-examined by Prince Harry’s lawyer David Sherborne about her use of private investigators, the journalist said she had “no reason to believe” details had been obtained unlawfully.
She told the court: “These were people who were well known to the news desk, I did not think there was anything wrong with using them.
Ms Kerr added: “I had no reason to suspect that they would be doing anything other than carrying out normal journalistic activity ... I know I have never asked anyone to do anything unlawful.”
Mr Sherborne questioned how, if Ms Kerr can’t remember what anyone did, how she can say whether it was lawful or unlawful.
Mirror journalist ‘had no reason’ to believe third-parties were behaving unlawfully
Wednesday 7 June 2023 16:11 , Andy Gregory
In court, David Sherborne, representing the Duke of Sussex, Mirror journalist Jane Kerr used “a large number of private investigators and other third parties whilst [she was] at Mirror Group Newspapers”.
In her written statement, Ms Kerr said she had been told of payment records from AJK Research and Commercial and Legal Services (UK) Limited which refer to her name. She said recalled using the services of the directors of Commercial and Legal Services UK “to ask them to look up an address that was listed on the electoral roll”.
Ms Kerr said that when she was on the newsdesk “in charge of getting reporters out” and there was a “big story breaking” she might have asked them to “look up the names and addresses on the electoral roll”. “My name might appear on the invoices because of this,” Ms Kerr said.
She also said she was familiar with the name of the director of AJK Research, saying he used “to do genealogy/family tree research and he used birth, deaths and marriage registers to do this”.
“I had no reason to believe the practices used by these suppliers were unlawful,” Ms Kerr said.
Mirror journalist discusses Harry ‘drug-taking' story
Wednesday 7 June 2023 16:08 , Andy Gregory
While Jane Kerr’s byline is on 10 of the 33 articles being examined in court, about which Prince Harry has complained, Ms Kerr in some instances said she could not recall the story or its source – echoing the duke’s own testimony earlier.
In relation to a January 2002 Daily Mirror article entitled “Harry’s cocaine ecstasy and GHB parties”, Ms Kerr said in her witness statement that she was following up a News of the World story and would have called St James’s Palace to get confirmation.
“I cannot recall this story well and I do not know the source of the quotes in this article,” she said, adding it is likely to have come from a contact of her crime correspondent colleague who was jointly bylined.
She added: “I am aware that there was a payment to a confidential source in respect of this article but the source was not one of my contacts.”
Judge rejects barrister’s claim Prince Harry’s lawyer is ‘ambushing’ Mirror journalist
Wednesday 7 June 2023 16:03 , Andy Gregory
The judge has rejected a claim by the Mirror Group’s lawyer that Prince Harry’s barrister was conducting an “ambush” of journalist Jane Kerr, which he claimed was “terribly unfair”.
But Judge Mr Justice Fancourt replied: “It’s not an ambush.”
Andrew Green KC stands up to object to David Sherborne’s questioning of Jane Kerr, and describes it as “an ambush”. The Judge says “It’s not an ambush”.
— Sarah Hajibagheri (@SaraHajibagheri) June 7, 2023
Mirror journalist grilled over ‘magical’ provision of phone numbers
Wednesday 7 June 2023 15:56 , Andy Gregory
The Mirror’s former royal editor and assistant news editor Jane Kerr is currently being questioned by Prince Harry’s lawyer David Sherborne.
In her witness statement, Ms Kerr has described calling various agencies who provided phone numbers the paper needed to cover breaking news.
Ms Kerr said she “knew what she was doing but it was a long time ago”, after Mr Sherborne claimed she seemed “to have no idea of what you were doing at the time”.
Pressing further, the barrister asked: “You called up people, you had no idea what they did – they magically produced phone numbers and you never asked any questions?”, to which Ms Kerr replied: “Yes.”
In her witness statement, Ms Kerr said: “I would like to reiterate in the strongest terms that I have never engaged in voicemail interception at MGN or elsewhere and I have never instructed private investigators or other third parties to engage in unlawful information gathering activities.
“I worked hard and honestly as a journalist, always believing I was doing the right thing, and I felt proud and privileged to be the Mirror’s royal reporter. To be accused of such a thing is extremely upsetting.”
Judge asks Harry about his disappearing voicemails
Wednesday 7 June 2023 15:46 , Andy Gregory
Prior to the conclusion of his testimony, Prince Harry was asked by the judge when he first began to notice that his voicemails did not appear to be “new” when he listened to them – suggesting that someone else had already listened to them.
In his witness statement, Harry says he was first issued a mobile “by the institution” while at Eton, over which period he would hear voicemails that were no longer “new” – which at the time blamed on either a technical glitch or “having had too many drinks the night before”.
As he departed the witness box, the judge, Mr Justice Fancourt, zoned in on this aspect of his testimony, asking when the duke experienced “this strange activity”.
“From the moment I had a mobile phone,” replied Prince Harry, to which the judge asked: “Are you saying this continued throughout the period?”
“It never stopped,” the duke replied.
‘I just made the calls: Mirror journalist defends commissioning firm to find information ‘900 times'
Wednesday 7 June 2023 15:27 , Andy Gregory
Prince Harry’s lawyer claims to have evidence that former Mirror journalist Jane Kerr commissioned a third-party company 900 times to obtain details about people, such as their dates of birth and addresses.
Barrister David Sherborne told the court that internal emails showed “concern” at the paper about the sums being spent on such firms given that a database there allowing its staff to do similar searches for free.
After Ms Kerr said she “just made the calls”, Mr Sherborne said: “You were the assistant news editor at the Daily Mirror. You’re telling the court you instructed a company 900 times to do something you could have done for free and you’ve no idea how they obtained this information?”
“It just didn’t occur to me to ask,” she replied, prompting Mr Sherborne to suggest that she “knew” journalists were using dates of birth to pass to private investigators to access people’s voicemails – which she denied.
In her witness statement, Ms Kerr said: “I have never engaged in voicemail interception at MGN or elsewhere and I have never engaged the services of private investigators or other third parties to engage in unlawful information gathering activities.”
Mirror journalist questioned over role not mentioned in witness statement
Wednesday 7 June 2023 15:16 , Andy Gregory
In questioning by Prince Harry’s lawyer, former Mirror royal editor Jane Kerr has been asked why she did not mention her former role as the paper’s assistant news editor in her witness statement.
Pressed on the matter by barrister David Sherborne, who claimed she was trying to distance herself from the paper, Ms Kerr said that while she could have included it in her witness statement, she was focusing on the work she did as royal editor and royal reporter.
I launched hacking claim to protect Meghan, says Harry
Wednesday 7 June 2023 15:10 , Adam Forrest
Earlier today, Prince Harry said he had launched his phone hacking case to stop his wife Meghan from suffering “intrusion and hate” from the press, the High Court has heard.
Andrew Green KC, acting on behalf of Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), asked when the Duke of Sussex initially discussed possible legal action.
Harry said he believed there was a discussion about him wanting to put a stop to the “absolute intrusion and hate that was coming towards me and my wife and see if there was any way to find a different course of action, rather than relying on the institution’s way”.
Mr Green asked if he had wanted to bring an action against News Group Newspapers (NGN) first and then decided to also sue MGN, to which Harry replied: “No, I believe I filed the claims at pretty much the same time.” Harry added that there was “industrial-scale destruction of evidence on all sides”.
Mirror journalist says she didn’t want to attend court today
Wednesday 7 June 2023 15:01 , Andy Gregory
Jane Kerr, a royal reporter for The Mirror between 1997 and 2005, is now giving evidence.
The court was told that she attempted to avoid giving evidence last week but was “ordered” to attend the trial by the judge, and asked by barrister David Sherborne that “you didn’t want to come today, did you?”, she replied: “No, I didn’t.”
Mr Sherborne, for Prince Harry, said Ms Kerry commissioned private investigators on 900 separate occasions while working at the Mirror, which she said were a regular part of her duties there, The Guardian reports.
Prince Harry remains in court as Mirror journalist questioned
Wednesday 7 June 2023 14:46 , Andy Gregory
After asking the Duke of Sussex a few final questions, Judge Mr Justice Fancourt told him: “Thank you very much Prince Harry, that really is the end of your evidence”.
The duke has remained in court to listen to Jane Kerr, the Mirror’s formal royal editor, who is now being questioned by Harry’s barrister, David Sherborne.
The journalist has been called as a witness by Mirror Group Newspapers, and her byline is on 10 out of 33 articles selected to be discussed in court.
‘It’s a lot’: Prince Harry’s questioning comes to an end after nearly eight hours
Wednesday 7 June 2023 14:42 , Andy Gregory
The Duke of Sussex finished giving evidence at about 2.30pm, after almost eight hours of questioning on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In his final question to his client, barrister David Sherborne asked the duke how sitting in the witness box and poring over the relevant news articles “knowing the media is watching” had made him feel.
The duke’s voice broke slightly, as he replied: “It's a lot.”
Prince Harry ‘found’ tracking device on Chelsy Davy’s car
Wednesday 7 June 2023 14:40 , Andy Gregory
Prince Harry claims to have found a tracking device on his ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy’s car in South Africa.
Asked how he knew this by his barrister David Sherborne, the Duke of Sussex told the court: “Because we found it.”
Another friend of his had also found a tracking device on his car, the duke said.
Harry again denies ‘speculating’ after claims of £500 Mirror payment for Afghanistan story
Wednesday 7 June 2023 14:37 , Andy Gregory
Prince Harry’s lawyer David Sherborne has returned to the article about Harry being banned from returning to Afghanistan.
Mr Sherborne pointed the duke to a document and told the court that a £500 payment by the Mirror had gone to a private investigator, asking Harry whether he believed he was speculating when claiming unlawful information-gathering was involved in the story.
After a short pause, the duke replied: “For my whole life, the press misled me, covered up the wrongdoing, and sitting here in court knowing that the defence has the evidence in front of them and for Mr Green to suggest I’m speculating … I’m not sure what to say about that.”
Harry rejects ‘speculation’ claims as appears to point to ‘destructive’ Mail splash
Wednesday 7 June 2023 14:32 , Andy Gregory
The court session has resumed and Harry’s own lawyer David Sherborne has questioned him about the opposing barrister Andrew Green’s repeated claims that the duke had entered the “realm of speculation”.
Harry told the court he dd not believe he was speculating, adding that it was “even more destructive” that the phrase “in the realms of speculation” was used “as a headline this morning against me”.
That quote appeared on the front page of today’s Daily Mail, the publisher of whom Harry is also bringing legal action against.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 6, 2023
Prince Harry denies ‘cavorting’ with friend at rugby match
Wednesday 7 June 2023 14:28 , Andy Gregory
Earlier in his evidence, the Duke of Sussex denied he was “cavorting” with a woman at rugby match at Twickenham in London in March 2009.
Harry challenged the contents of March 2009 Daily Mirror article which alleged he “openly cavorted with his new girlfriend Astrid Harbord” in a hospitality box.
He told the court that he and Ms Harbord were “never in a relationship”, adding: “Everything that was highlighted was not true”.
“I wasn’t cavorting,” Harry said, after Andrew Green KC, for MGN, said he had been in public.
In his written witness statement, the duke said: “This kind of article from the defendant was just embarrassing for me. Friends teased me, it created an awkwardness between me and whichever girl was at the subject of the story.”
He said he had been shown six payments to a private investigator relating to Ms Harbord, “which shows that she was of prior interest to the Mirror”.
Asked in court whose mobile phone he thought was hacked, Harry replied: “I’m not sure because the evidence has been destroyed.”
Watch: Prince Harry broadcast disrupted as East 17’s Brian Harvey protests outside court
Wednesday 7 June 2023 14:15 , Andy Gregory
Who is David Sherborne? The A-list barrister representing Prince Harry in his legal battles
Wednesday 7 June 2023 13:58 , Andy Gregory
With Prince Harry now taking questions from his own barrister, David Sherborne, my colleague Matt Mathers has more information about the lawyer.
With A-list clients including Paul McCartney and Johnny Depp, the barrister is no stranger to high-profile cases, having even represented the late Princess Diana.
A US-native, Mr Sherborne came to attention in the UK again for his role in the Levenson Inquiry, representing a host of celebrities who had their phones hacked by the now-defunct News of the World.
Wednesday 7 June 2023 13:46 , Andy Gregory
The court broke for lunch just after 1pm, with the duke’s barrister David Sherborne saying he expects to take about 10 to 15 minutes re-examining Harry after the break.
Andrew Green KC, for MGN, completed his cross-examination of the duke shortly before the lunch break.
Read all 55 pages of Prince Harry’s phone-hacking witness statement in full
Wednesday 7 June 2023 13:27 , Andy Gregory
While the court has risen for lunch, you can read Prince Harry’s witness statement below:
Harry says ‘burner phones’ used to hack voicemails as he defends lack of any call data
Wednesday 7 June 2023 13:08 , Andy Gregory
MGN barrister Andrew Green has now finished his cross examination of Prince Harry, who is now taking questions from his own lawyer, David Sherborne.
After more than seven hours of testimony, Mr Sherborne started by saying: “Given the time, I’m not going to take you back through every single article.”
The duke reportedly drew some laughter in the court as he replied: “Thank you.”
The barrister began by addressing the lack of any call data showing he had received calls from Mirror Group journalists.
Asked whether he means that no one actually hacked his phone, Harry replied that he believes “burner phones” were deployed, adding: “I believe they would have gone to extreme lengths to cover their tracks.”
The court has now risen for lunch.
I can’t remember specific voicemails, says Harry
Wednesday 7 June 2023 13:00 , Andy Gregory
In a final exchange with opposing barrister Andrew Green, Prince Harry was asked when he first sought help from lawyers about a potential claim against the Mirror publisher.
The duke said that he did not approach lawyers, but instead, as detailed in his autobiography, bumped into his barrister David Sherborne in France in around 2018.
Pressed by MGN barrister Andrew Green that he had not identified any single message that he recalled being left on a voicemail which had made its way into a news story, the duke said he could not remember specific voicemails.
The duke retorted that there was “hard evidence of suspiciousness”, and agreed that he believed he was hacked over a 15-year period.
Asked by Mr Green whether he was “claiming damages on the basis that your phone was hacked on daily basis”, Harry replied: “It could have been. I simply don’t know, my lord. That’s part of the reason why I’m here.”
Chelsy Davy ‘trial separation’ article may have been obtained through phone hacking, Harry says
Wednesday 7 June 2023 12:54 , Andy Gregory
Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy were “not sharing anything with anyone”, amid a report she had asked for a “trial separation” in November 2007, he told the High Court.
The Daily Mirror article said Ms Davy “reportedly asked for a trial separation in an emotional phone call”.
“I believe that that could be obtained through a voicemail,” Harry told the court, but adding he would be “speculating” when asked if he remembered if either he or Ms Davy had left such a message.
Andrew Green KC, for MGN, said information in the story had been previously reported by other media outlets.
The duke said quotes in the article “are attributed to friends”, adding: “By this point myself and Chelsy were not sharing anything with anyone.”
Harry rejects laywer’s claim his phone hacking allegations are ‘total speculation'
Wednesday 7 June 2023 12:51 , Andy Gregory
The Duke of Sussex “never discussed with the Palace” details of his relationship with former girlfriend Chelsy Davy, the High Court heard.
MGN’s barrister questioned Harry about a September 2007 People article that claimed the couple’s relationship was “in crisis after a string of bitter bust-ups”.
Harry told the court that the “whole article itself is suspicious”, adding: “I never discussed with the Palace any details of my relationship with my girlfriend”.
Mr Green asked the duke if he was alleging that information in the story came from phone hacking, to which he said: “Yes”, adding: “I say that everything that has been attributed to a Palace source ... was obtained unlawfully. The Palace wouldn’t know this information.”
The duke disagreed with Mr Green’s suggestion a “well-connected source was perfectly prepared” to provide information to the article’s author, with Harry also rejecting the suggestion that his allegations of phone hacking were “total speculation”.
Prince Harry questioned over article about dinner party with Caroline Flack
Wednesday 7 June 2023 12:47 , Andy Gregory
Prince Harry has been questioned over a People article about a “lively” dinner party he attended with late TV presenter Caroline Flack, headlined “Harry's date with Gladiators star”.
In his witness statement, Harry said at the time he “was so shocked and livid” that two photographers knew where we would be and were “hiding underneath a car” waiting for us to arrive.
He says that at the time he “obviously doubted” Caroline – who he reportedly looked pained as he said she “is no longer with us” – and “even came to distrust” the friend who had hosted the dinner party, causing he and William to cut him off for a while out of confusion over how their private meetings were ambushed by photographers.
The duke said he now believes the information came from hacked voicemails, accusing the picture agency of having “stalked me for a decade”.
Photographer waiting for him and Chelsy Davy was ‘highly suspicious’, Harry says
Wednesday 7 June 2023 12:35 , Andy Gregory
Referring to a December 2007 article about Prince Harry dropping Chelsy Davy off after she spent the night at Kensington Palace, which included a paparazzi photograph of her, Andrew Green KC suggested that was something “anyone could have observed”.
The barrister said there were often photographers outside the palace, to which Harry said: “They were only there for pretty much emergencies or big moments of the royal family – weddings, engagements, hospital visits.”
Mr Green said: “There were there on this occasion”, to which Harry replied: “That is why it’s suspicious, my lord.”
The duke added: “This to me is incredibly suspicious as I say. She spent the night with me, I was dropping her off as close to Kensington High Street as I could get without being seen. To know that a photographer was there for us, waiting, was highly suspicious.”
The duke said he suspected he had seen the article at the time of publication as he believed his security team would have alerted him to it.
‘This isn’t about you asking me questions’, barrister tells Harry
Wednesday 7 June 2023 12:31 , Andy Gregory
The court turned to a 2008 People article claiming Prince Harry had been “banned” from returning to Afghanistan.
In his witness statement, the Duke of Sussex calls the story another “obvious” example of the outlet acquiring details about his private life in an unlawful way.
Pressed by barrister Andrew Green that his military service was “a matter of legitimate public interest reflected in the press” that the story focused on his professional rather than private life, Harry asked: “Are you suggesting that while I was in the army that everything was available for the press to write about?”
Mr Green responded: “Can I just repeat this isn’t about you asking me questions, it’s about me asking you questions.”
Prince Harry denounces article about Chelsy Davy breakup as a ‘bit mean'
Wednesday 7 June 2023 12:12 , Andy Gregory
Proceedings have now resumed, following a short break.
Earlier, MGN’s barrister Andrew Green KC turned his questioning to a November 2007 Sunday Mirror article entitled “Hooray Harry’s dumped”.
The story reported that the duke went to west London nightclub Amika and “drowned his sorrows” over the split, with Harry complaining over its alleged use of his private information.
The Duke told the court the article headline “does seem to suggest that people are celebrating”, adding it “is a little bit mean”.
But Mr Green told the court that the headline was actually a reference to a friend who had become “tired of his hooray lifestyle”, adding: “It’s not celebrating the demise of your relationship.”
Prince Harry discusses ‘quotes from the Lithuanian lap dancer who sat on my lap’
Wednesday 7 June 2023 12:07 , Andy Gregory
Prince Harry has discussed “quotes from the Lithuanian lap dancer who sat on my lap” in a Sunday People article from April 2006 about his visit to a Spearmint Rhino club near Slough.
Referring to records of MGN payments made around that time relating to the article, Harry said: “I believe one of those payments is probably to the bouncer or someone who worked at Spearmint Rhino.”
MGN barrister Andrew Green pointed to a Daily Mail article about the same story, which said that one of the lap dancers “bore a resemblance” to his then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy.
Harry interjected to say that article was “factually inaccurate”, adding: “I’m saying that is not true.”
Mr Green suggested the People article contained no information that was not in the Mail one, to which Harry replied: “I don’t see any quotes from the Lithuanian lap dancer who sat on my lap, as in the (People) article.”
The duke described this as a “classic example” of a story about him originating from one media organisation and then “Mirror Group or anyone else who was one step behind would be encouraged to then go and find out more”.
Mr Green then asked Harry about part of the article, which referred to Ms Davy having “screamed for half an hour” at him on the phone, and where he thought this information could have come from.
Harry told the court: “At this point, knowing that my girlfriend’s number was bizarrely in the hands of Mirror journalists, that they probably looked through her call data and saw missed calls, late calls... and managed to put together a story based on that.”
He added: “It was very suspicious that they had her number. As I said, I do not believe she would give Mirror Group or any journalists her phone number.”
Key moments so far: Harry grilled on lap dancing, ex-girlfriend and Sandhurst
Wednesday 7 June 2023 12:00 , Andy Gregory
The court is taking a short break. Here are some of the key moments this morning so far:
Prince Harry said that news articles about a knee injury of his, which claimed he had been allowed to forego “gruelling five-mile runs” at Sandhurst as a result, led him to be mistrustful of medics at the military academy.
The Duke of Sussex claimed hacking phones had been a “risk worth the reward” for journalists and claimed that police did not “know how to deal with” such allegations when they first surfaced.
Harry was grilled over a 2006 People article about a visit of his to a lap-dancing club, prompting his lawyer David Sherborne to interject to complain that his opposite number Andrew Green’s questioning was unfair as it suggested the statements in the article were true. The judge agreed Mr Green’s choice of words was not “entirely appropriate”.
Asked by MGN’s barrister if he was aware that claimants in the 2015 phone hacking trial against the newspaper publisher had “extensive call data” showing calls to their mobile phones, the duke said he was not aware of that, and insisted the lack of such data in his claim “absolutely” did not suggest he was not also a victim of hacking.
The duke was asked about his relationship with Chelsy Davy and insisted she would not have given her phone number to MGN titles. Pointed towards an article which suggested he was “celebrating” breaking up with her, Harry noted that this “seems a bit mean.”
Hacking royal’s phones was ‘risk worth the reward’, claims Harry
Wednesday 7 June 2023 11:39 , Andy Gregory
Alleged phone hacking by journalists was a risk “worth the reward”, the Duke of Sussex told the High Court.
During cross-examination by Andrew Green KC, for MGN, Harry was asked questions in relation to an April 2006 People article reporting his former girlfriend Chelsy Davy’s “fury” over his “boozy evening at a lap-dancing club”.
Mr Green said a News of the World article around the same time mentioned a voice mail that the duke’s brother had left for him imitating Ms Davy’s voice.
The barrister said this story was an “important step” leading to the police arresting News of the World journalist Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who were both later convicted over phone hacking.
Mr Green said no MGN journalists were arrested at the time of a police investigation, adding that journalists would have later been taking an “enormous risk” by hacking Harry’s phone or those around him.
“I think there was a risk right from the beginning,” the duke said, adding: “I believe the risk is worth the reward for them”.
Police ‘didn’t know how to deal with’ phone hacking claims, says Harry
Wednesday 7 June 2023 11:35 , Andy Gregory
Prince Harry has claimed that the police initially did not “know how to deal with” phone hacking allegations.
Asked about the arrests of former News of the World journalists Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire, the duke said he believed Scotland Yard’s “focus was understandably on” that newspaper – but barrister Andrew Green countered that the investigation was “broader”.
The duke replied: “I don’t think anyone even the police knew how to deal with it at first. At the time we didn’t know there was voice mail hacking, no one did. I believe at the time no one really knew how that information could have got out.
“The understanding from the Palace was that this was probably a one off.”
Harry: I’d feel ‘injustice’ if phone hacking claims not accepted by court
Wednesday 7 June 2023 11:18 , Andy Gregory
Prince Harry has said that he would feel “some injustice” if he loses his court battle against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).
Asked whether he believed the absence of any call data between his phone and any journalists at MGN suggests he was not hacked by a journalist, Harry told the court: “Absolutely not.”
Pressed on whether he would be relieved or disappointed if the court finds he was not hacked, the duke said he would “feel some injustice if [his claim] wasn’t accepted”.
Asked by the barrister Andrew Green whether he “wants to have been phone hacked”, Harry replied: “Nobody wants to be phone hacked.”