Scotland Yard loaned police horse to Rebekah Brooks: Dobbingate
REBEKAH Brooks, formerly Rebekah Wade, was loaned a police horse.
One day earlier, we heard Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers says that he has uncovered a “culture of illegal payments” at The Sun newspaper.
Akers, of the Met Police, is leading Operation Elveden, an investigation into allegations of corruption at News International, where Brooks used to work.
Akers tells the Leveson Inquiry:
“Instead these are cases in which arrests have been made involving the delivery of regular, frequent and sometimes significant sums of money to small numbers of public officials by journalists…The evidence suggests that such payments were being made to public officials across all areas of public life,” she added. “The current assessment of the evidence is that it reveals a network of corrupted officials. There appears to have been a culture at The Sun of illegal payments and systems have been created to facilitate such payments whilst hiding the identity of the officials receiving the money. The e-mails indicate that payment to ‘sources’ were openly referred to within The Sun, with the category of public official being identified rather than the individual’s identity.”
Tom Crone, the News of the World’s head of legal, wrote to the paper’s then-editor Andy Coulson on September 15 2006:
“The only payment records they found were from News International, ie the NoW retainer and other invoices, they said that over the period they looked at (going way back) there seemed to be over £1 million of payments…They’re going to contact RW (Rebekah Wade) today to see if she wishes to take it further.”
The Guardian reprots:
The internal News International (NI) email shows an unnamed police source told Brooks there were between 100 and 110 “victims” while the News of the World was under criminal investigation for hacking phones in the royal household. She was also told there were records suggesting NI had paid more than £1m to Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator employed to carry out the hacking.
From: Tom Crone [chief lawyer, News of the World]
Sent: 15 September 2006 10:34
To: Andy Coulson [then editor, News of the World]
Subject: Strictly private and confidential
Here’s Rebekah told me about info relayed to her by cops:
1. they are confident they have Clive [Goodman, former royal editor] and GM [Mulcaire] bang to rights on the Palace intercepts
2. [on Mulcaire’s] … accesses to voicemails. From these they have a list of 100-110 “victims”;
3. the only payment records they found were from News Int, ie the NoW retainer and other invoices; they said that over the period they looked at (going way back) there seemed to be over £1m of payments.
4. the recordings and notes demonstrate a pattern of “victims” … replaced by the next one who becomes flavour of the week/month;
5. they are visiting the bigger victims, ie where there are lots of intercepts;
6. their purpose is to insure that when GM [Mulcaire] comes up in court the full case against him is there for the court to see (rather than just the present palace charges);
7. all they are asking victims is “did you give anyone permission to access your voicemail?” and if not “do you wish to make a formal complaint?”;
8. They are confident that … they can then charge Glenn Mulcaire in relation to those victims…they are keen that the charges should demonstrate the scale of GM [Mulcaire]’s activities … so they would feature victims from different areas of public life, politics, showbiz, etc
“In terms of NoW [News of the World]
(a) [This section is unclear] they suggested … News of the World journalists directly accessing the voicemails (this is what did for Clive).
(b) but they have got hold of NoW back numbers to 2004 and are trying to marry CG [Goodman] accesses to specific stories,
(c) in one case [redacted] they seem to have a phrase from an NoW story which is identical to the tape or note of GM’s access,
(d) they have no recordings of NoW people speaking to GM or accessing voicemails,
(e) they do have GM’s phone records which show sequences of contacts with News of the World before and after accesses … obviously they don’t have the content of the calls … so this is at best circumstantial.
10: they are going to contact RW [presumed to be a reference to Rebekah Wade] today to see if she wishes to take it further.
In other news, Brooks, the now former News International chief executive,. was loaned a retired police horse. He kept it near her home at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.
The Evening Standard notes:
Brooks, a keen rider, is married to racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks. A friend said: “Rebekah acted as a foster carer for the horse. Anybody can agree to do this with the Met if they have the land and facilities to pay for its upkeep.”
The Leveson inquiry into press ethics has heard that the relationship between News International and the Met was “at best inappropriately close and at worst corrupt”…
Brooks’s spokesman, David Wilson, from Bell Pottinger confirmed the deal took place. “Rebekah acted as a foster carer for the horse.”
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman added: “When a police horse reaches the end of its working life, Mounted Branch officers find it a suitable retirement home. Whilst responsibility for feeding the animal and paying vet bills passes to the person entrusted with its care, the horse remains the property of the Metropolitan Police Service.
“Retired police horses are not sold on and can be returned to the care of the MPS at any time. In 2008 a retired horse was loaned to Rebekah Brooks. The horse was re-housed with a police officer in 2010.”
It’s a funny aside. What would Brooks want with a horse trained to charge at hippies? A former police staff member she can lead to the trough – although she probably had a stable lad to save getting her hands dirty? But it is routine. From the Met’s website:
At the end of the Police Horses working life the animal is re-homed at one of many identified establishments who have previously contacted the Mounted Branch with a view to offering a home.
The Mounted Branch is looking for suitable homes for retired horses, that is homes where the horse will not be ridden.
Anyone in the southeast of England offering such a home will be considered first.
For any enquiries please contact the Mounted Training establishment on 0208 2475480
Loan training horses
The Mounted Branch is currently seeking to extend its current loan scheme of horses to help train mounted officers for the post Olympic period.
The loan horses though integral to training will not play any sort of operational policing role. We have had three horses on loan since last October which have proved successful . They have been a valuable and cost effective asset to the Training Establishment.
We require at least two more suitable horses from the Home counties area The horses would initially be trialled for 4 weeks by ACPO/BHS qualified staff and must pass veterinary and temperament assessments. The MPS will pay their keep and all other associated costs whilst they are on loan.
Ideally the horses should stand at least 16hh with a quiet and calm attitude in a training environment. They must be capable of being handled and ridden by novice riders.
They must be able to walk, trot and canter in good form for a variety of riders and be capable of jumping a course of fences of at least 1 Metre.
Horses from six years old will be considered as long as they are fit, sound and sufficiently trained.