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Thursday, July 28, 2011
SHAME OF MEDIA: News of the World targeted phone of Sarah Payne's mother!
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Nick Davies and Amelia Hill, guardian.co.uk / Thursday 28 July 2011 16.08 BST.
Sarah Payne was murdered by Roy Whiting in 2000. The mobile phone details of her mother, Sara, have been found in Glenn Mulcaire's notes. Photograph: PA.
Evidence found in private detective's notes believed to relate to phone which Rebekah Brooks gave to Sara Payne as gift.
Sara Payne, whose eight-year-old daughter Sarah was abducted and murdered in July 2000, has been told by Scotland Yard that they have found evidence to suggest she was targeted by the News of the World's investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who specialised in hacking voicemail.
Police had earlier told her correctly that her name was not among those recorded in Mulcaire's notes, but on Tuesday officers from Operation Weeting told her they had found her personal details among the investigator's notes. These had previously been thought to refer to a different target.
Friends of Payne have told the Guardian that she is "absolutely devastated and deeply disappointed" at the disclosure. Her cause had been championed by the News of the World, and in particular by its former editor, Rebekah Brooks. Believing that she had not been a target for hacking, Payne wrote a farewell column for the paper's final edition on 10 July, referring to its staff as "my good and trusted friends".
The evidence that police have found in Mulcaire's notes is believed to relate to a phone given to Payne by Brooks as a gift to help her stay in touch with her supporters.
One of Payne's close colleagues said: "We are all appalled and disgusted. Sara is in bits about it."
In a statement, Brooks said the latest allegations were "abhorrent" and "particularly upsetting" because Sara Payne was a "dear friend".
Coming after the disclosure that the News of the World hacked and deleted the voicemail of the murdered Surrey schoolgirl Milly Dowler, the news will raise further questions about whether News Corporation is "fit and proper" to own TV licences and its 39% share of BSkyB.