Rebekah Brooks prosecutor Alison Levitt QC was victim of tabloid sting

May 18, 2012

Brooks may challenge prosecution on grounds of DPP adviser's alleged 'jaundiced view of tabloids'

A SOURCE close to Rebekah Brooks has revealed that the former News International CEO may challenge her prosecution after discovering one of the senior members of the Crown Prosecution Service's team was once the subject of a tabloid sting story.
Brooks and her racehorse-trainer husband Charlie were charged earlier this week along with four other people of perverting the course of justice in relation to the phone hacking scandal.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Alison Levitt QC, who acted as principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, was the subject of a tabloid story five years ago when her affair with a peer was reported.
It is believed Brooks's legal team at law firm Kingsley Napley are now examining whether Levitt's decision to prosecute may have been influenced by the sting, and whether this gave her "a jaundiced view of the tabloid press", and hence of Brooks.
If this can be proved to be the case, they are likely to argue that Levitt should have "recused" herself from any charging decision. It could also mean the CPS will have to re-examine the charges.
The affair between Levitt and Lord Carlile of Berriew was first reported in the Mail on Sunday in January 2005, and picked up later by the News of the World and other tabloids. The couple are now married.
Keir Starmer last night described Levitt as a "distinguished and highly respected QC".
He told the Telegraph: "It is preposterous to question the judgement of my principal legal adviser, Alison Levitt QC, on the basis that five years ago the News of the World wrote three sentences about her private life."
"Alison Levitt QC was not even aware that the News of the World had written anything about her until it was drawn to her attention yesterday. She is a distinguished and highly respected QC."

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Is there a single decent person in the UK who doesn't have 'a jaundiced view of the tabloid press'?

most times I believe in the saying innocent until proven guilty but I would bet a penny to a pound this lady has been up to her neck in this hacking scandal she believed her contacts like Cameron & Murdoch made her fireproof any way she should do time for the hair style alone.

I don't have an issue with 'hacking' where celebrities and politicians are involved, they crave publicity anyway. Where I do have concerns is in cases of personal tragedy as in the Milly Downer case where deep personal grief is accompanied by such revelations. This is shocking and the press concerned should be made to pay heavily for their unwarranted intrusions, but on a case by case basis only. Despite the concerns some may have about the behaviour of tabloids they should not be shackled by legislation likely to inhibit their reporting of such issues no matter how distasteful they may be. A 'silenced' press is the first step to 'unfettered' government control of our lives and the collapse of democracy as we know it. I don't think the Leveson enquiry will result in this happening but it will herald the introduction of stricter control through a 'beefed up' PCC.

This is an interesting argument on the part of Brooks' PR team: that Alison Levitt QC, having been injured by the gratuitous destruction of her privacy, albeit by the Mail on Sunday, therefore might think less of people who gratuitiously injure others, and indeed harbour a personal grudge.

Given it wasn't the NoW or Sun who broke this (previously widely known) story, and given Levitt made the decision with a team of co-workers, and given the threshold was stated by Levitt publicly as being whether "the evidence was sufficient to bring a better than 50% chance of conviction" (something which will come out in the wash anyway), and that it was also "in the public interest" (which I think we all agree), given all these things, doesn't the Brooks line that "we injured her - therefore she can't think straight" seem incredibly desperate, and a drawing-of-attention toward the unjustified bad tabloids can and do do?