In Brief

Coulson shouted 'brilliant' over Sienna Miller tape hack

Former News of the World reporter claims he was hired on the basis of his phone-hacking skills

FORMER News of the World editor Andy Coulson shouted "brilliant" after listening to a hacked voicemail message from Sienna Miller to Daniel Craig, the Old Bailey heard today.

The message, left on Craig's phone in 2005, suggested Miller was having an affair with the James Bond actor while she was in a relationship with Jude Law. "Hi, it's me," she was heard to say. "I can't speak, I'm at the Groucho with Jude. I love you."

The voicemail was intercepted by Dan Evans, a News of the World journalist at the time, who claimed Coulson "got very animated" and shouted "brilliant" when he heard the message.

"Everybody was having a bit of an adrenaline kick," Evans told the jury. One journalist on the newspaper allegedly grabbed him by the elbow and congratulated him, saying: "You're a company man now Dan."

Coulson then told Evans to make a copy of the message, stick it in a Jiffy bag, and send it to the front gate at the News of the World's offices in Wapping, the court heard.

According to Evans, security staff at the front gate "would then ring up and say this has been sent in anonymously" and a colleague came back up to the office with the Jiffy bag, expressing mock surprise.

The News of the World revealed the affair on 8 October 2005 in a story with Evans's byline.

Evans, who has pleaded guilty to intercepting voicemail messages, appeared in court today as a prosecution witness. The former reporter, who has apologised to all the people whose privacy he infringed, told the court that he had been recruited to the News of the World in 2005 from its chief rival, the Sunday Mirror, on the basis of his skills as a phone hacker.

Evans allegedly told Coulson about the practice during his interview, reports The Independent.

Coulson denies all the charges against him, including conspiring to intercept communications.

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