The latest revelations in the never-ending story of phone hacking, bribery and tabloid journalism. Police report findings that the phone of Sara Payne, mother of murdered girl Sarah Payne, and namesake for Pedophile legislation, had her phone hacked. The phone allegedly given to her by News Of The World.
July 28, 2011

Rebekah Brooks with Sara Payne - appears to be no bottom - just a series of trap doors.

It was only a matter of days before some new and harrowing discovery was made with connection to the News Of The World/Newscorp/News International/Rupert Murdoch debacle.

And here it is.

It was just reported (as of 9:00 am PDT) that Police made a discovery that the phone of Sara Payne had been hacked, or was on a list alleged to have been hacked, by News Of The World.

In case the name rings no bells, Sara Payne is the mother of Sarah Payne, the 8-year old girl abducted and murdered by convicted pedophile Roy Whiting in 2000. The murder was so heinous and caused such outrage that it prompted adoption of a new law making it public the whereabouts of convicted pedophiles to serve as a warning for parents with children living within a given area of the pedophile. The campaign to get this law on the books was News Of the World, championed by then-editor Rebekah Brooks. The law was eventually enacted and became known as Sarah's Law in honor of the slain girl.

Sara Payne became quite close, not only with Rebekah Brooks but with The News Of The World and they maintained close personal ties over the years.

The discovery today that the very same News Of The World was in fact hacking Sara Payne's phone brought a wave of freshly harvested revulsion throughout the UK today. Payne is in a state of horrified shock and reaction has been swift and dismayed.

Brooks has vehemently denied the charges and many former colleagues have come to her defense. At first it was reported the phone in question was a personal gift from Brooks, but it has been retracted and said to have been a gift of News Of The World, not Brooks personally.

In all due likelihood it would seem Brooks may be telling the truth. With such a close personal relationship with Payne, why would she need to hack into her phone? But it doesn't dismiss the notion that this sort of thing was a standard operating procedure for many years at News Of the World (and Newscorp) and the climate was such that it wasn't given much thought to raise an eyebrow. That, I think is the real issue here. Your complacency is your defacto complicity. Does Brooks warrant every accusation thrown at her? I don't think so. Why? Remember she was brought into the organization very young (read: malleable). Learning your trade as an apprentice by the side of the master will often introduce you to methods and techniques you may question early on. But after twenty years those gut-level questions cease being relevant.

I'm still of the opinion the fish rots from the head. Just saying.

Here is the breaking news via BBC Radio 4's PM with Eddie Mair and an update from The Six O'Clock news that followed right after.

As is everything connected with this story, the game changes almost hourly.

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