The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

  • MR BRIAN PADDICK (sworn).

  • Your full name, please?

  • Brian Leonard Paddick.

  • Thank you. You provide to the Inquiry a witness statement dated 19 February of this year. You've signed and dated it, and I think provided a statement of truth. Is this your formal evidence to the Inquiry?

  • Thank you very much, Mr Paddick, for the effort that you've put into providing this evidence to me.

  • Can you tell us in your statement that between November 1976 and May 2007, you were a police officer serving in the Metropolitan Police service and you retired in the rank of Deputy Assistant Commissioner.

  • Since then, you have enjoyed, if that's the right way of putting it, a political career and you're standing again in the mayoral elections in May of this year; is that correct?

  • Thank you very much. I'd like to move to paragraph 7 of your statement. We'll take the preliminary matters you set out as read, if you don't mind.

    At paragraph 7, you explain that personally you've had good relations with a number of crime reporters. In particular, you mention a good relationship with the crime correspondent at the Financial Times. In your own words, please, what is the nature and purpose of that relationship?

  • What happened -- Jimmy Burns is the journalist I'm referring to. He came to my police station when I was in charge at Wimbledon to interview officers about how they viewed the Macpherson report, and in a preliminary discussion with Jimmy Burns it became quite apparent that Mr Burns and I were on the same page in terms of wanting reform of the police, getting the police to be better at handling race relations and that sort of thing. So it was quite clear that we had an immediate rapport, and as a consequence, we subsequently had a series of lunches that he paid for where we discussed the possibility of moving things forward in terms of a culture change within the police.

  • Thank you. You also mention an editorial lunch at the Guardian and then at the Mirror. The fare may have been very similar, but the discussions may not have been. About the lunch at the Mirror, is there anything you can recall about that which might assist us?

  • Yes, I rather recall it more as an audience with Piers Morgan than an editorial lunch. But I was there, there were a couple of politicians who were there, there were a couple of weather girls from Channel 5 who were there, and we sat around and in the main listened to what Piers Morgan wanted to tell us.

  • Thank you. Paragraph 9 --

  • I'm sorry. What did he want to tell you?

  • All sorts of not very interesting things, from what I remember, sir. I mean it was simply his view of the world --

  • Yes, yes. It's not so much the detail. I'm just interested that you're a high-ranking police officer, and --

  • Well, Mr Piers Morgan gave me the opportunity to respond to a kiss-and-tell story on me that was published by a Sunday newspaper, and therefore he knew me through that connection and maybe this was his way of sort of thanking me for co-operating with his newspaper --

  • Requiring you to listen to him?

  • Well, there was lunch thrown in as well.

  • Yes, all right, all right, all right.

  • The issue of media intrusion you touch on in paragraph 9, and you identify a period when you were a very senior police officer between 2002 and 2007, and you point out that that sort of intrusion could make it extremely difficult for you to work effectively as a police officer. Did it in fact make it difficult for you to work as a police officer or not?

  • Yes. For example, I was the police spokesman when the 2005 bombings happened, and one of the newspapers, reporting the fact that I was the police spokesman the following day, went into aspects of my private life in their reporting simply of the fact that I was the police spokesman. So at every opportunity, there were some newspapers who tried to drag up aspects of my private life which they thought would be detrimental to me.

  • Thank you. Media relations at the MPS, that's paragraphs 10 to 14. You develop a number of themes there. Paragraph 11 first of all, please. You say, two lines from the bottom:

    "In order to preserve or enhance their reputation in the eyes of the public, the police have increasingly tried to keep bad news about the police out of the media and have put more and more effort into getting positive news stories about the police into the media."

    Are you able to identify a point in time at which that sort of strategy began to develop or is this a general trend?

  • I think it's a general trend. Obviously when I was a more lowly -- of a more lowly rank, I didn't know what the politics, with a small P, were of the police regarding the media, but as I became more senior, it became apparent that this was something that the police were trying to do.

    Now, this -- you know, I fully understand why the police would want to do this. As we have just heard, the police in this country police by consent. That means it relies on the public having trust and confidence in the police, and therefore, having a lot of negative publicity about the police tends to undermine that and in turn undermines the effectiveness of the police. If people feel that they can't trust the police, they're not going to phone up and dial 999 or otherwise assist the police. So I can understand that there is a professional reason other than simply embarrassment that things have gone wrong for why senior officers would want to do this.

  • Yes. In paragraph 12, you take this further:

    "The police have tried to manage the reputation by befriending newspapers editors and other people in positions of power in the media. Successive commissioners of the MPS have conducted charm offensives with mixed success."

    You may not want to answer this question, but which Commissioners, in your view, have been more successful than others?

  • I think it's fairly apparent that Lord Stevens, at the time Sir John Stevens, the then Commissioner, had a very good relationship with the media, and it's hard to identify a negative story in the media about John Stevens. Regrettably, almost the reverse is the case when it came to Lord Blair, at the time Sir Ian Blair, when he became Commissioner, when the overwhelming majority of publicity seemed to be against him rather than in favour of him, and I don't think that's fair at all. I think that Ian Blair was trying to do a very difficult thing. He was trying to change the culture of the Metropolitan Police in a way that didn't go well with a lot of his senior colleagues but also didn't go well with a lot of right-wing newspapers.

  • Paragraph 13:

    "The police have tried to prevent stories from getting into the public domain."

    You develop that with your specific examples later on.

    Paragraph 14:

    "... a culture is created where corruption can flourish ..."

    What do you mean by "corruption" there in that sentence, Mr Paddick?

  • The difficult is: if the police are inappropriately trying to keep stories of inappropriate police activity out of the media and police officers become aware that that is the case, then they may feel that they can carry on their inappropriate activity knowing that the police won't take any action against them because the police don't want that to get into the public domain.

  • Do you mean police officers or do you mean reporters?

  • No, what I'm thinking of, sir, is were officers to be engaged in inappropriate activity, rather than being prosecuted for that, police officers might -- the thing might be covered up in order to prevent it damaging the reputation of the police.

  • Thank you.

    Now, your specific examples. Starting at paragraph 15, you refer to Freedom of Information Act requests and you've seen meetings between former commissioners and executives of News International. Could you be more precise about that, Mr Paddick? What sort of meetings are we talking about? Are these lunches, are these professional meetings or a bit of both?

  • We've probably seen the information ourselves but to make sure that we have, what information was obtained pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act requests? Hospitality lists?

  • I think these were extracts from the Commissioners' diaries and senior officers' diaries, indicating where the meetings -- where and when the meetings took place and also of, as you say, the hospitality register, the gifts and hospitality register, where it was shown that senior officers were entertained by these people.

  • Yes. The list presumably also showed that the senior officers, including the Commissioners, were also entertained by executives of other newspapers groups?

  • Indeed. It's not exclusively News International by any means.

  • Thank you. Then you cover the revolving door issue, which we're going to take up with the individuals you name there.

    Paragraph 16 you've already covered with us, Mr Paddick, the successful interactions with the media, if I can put it neutrally, which Lord Stevens enjoyed, and then the perhaps less successful ones which Lord Blair enjoyed, paragraph 17.

    Can I ask you though to cover what you say about the renewal of Mr Fedorcio's contract, which you say occurred just as Lord Stevens was leaving; is that right?

  • Yes, that's my understanding.

  • What, if anything, was the issue or problem there?

  • Well, a freelance journalist queried with me how Dick Fedorcio could continue as Ian Blair's head of press when he had been engaged in extensive briefing against Ian Blair when Ian Blair was the deputy and in line to become the commissioner.

  • What did you say, if anything, to the journalist? Do you recall?

  • No, I -- I mean, clearly there was a lot of negative briefing against Ian Blair even before he became Commissioner, and I wasn't surprised that some of this briefing was coming from within the Met.

  • Who would be initiating that? Because one would have thought that the head of the department for public affairs should be doing his best to promote the affairs of the Metropolitan Police generally, and its officers in particular? Maybe that's naive?

  • There's a lot of political infighting, or there was, during my time at the Met, between senior officers, and I guess that was put Dick Fedorcio in a difficult position, in terms of his overall responsibility to promote the Met in its entirety, if he's being asked by some senior officers to brief against others.

  • Do you have a comment upon a climate that exists that permits any of that to happen?

  • Well, yes, and indeed Ian Blair, when he became Commissioner, he explicitly said -- I mean, he identified a previous culture of bullying, which he said that he was going to put an end to. That was Ian Blair's description of how he saw the culture in the Met at the time that he took over.

  • Can I just ask you some more questions about that. When you say "a freelance journalist" asked you, was that conduct one which the journalist initiated or you initiated?

  • Which the journalist had initiated.

  • Was this a journalist someone you had frequent contact with or not?

  • Occasional contact with. It was Ken Hyder, a freelance journalist.

  • This, I think, is the journalist who features a little bit earlier on in the chronology. We're going to come back to it, the Evening Standard front page. Is it the same individual?

  • So someone you had a reasonably close relationship with; is that correct?

  • When the freelance journalist asked you the question, can you recall how you replied to it?

  • I can't recall. I probably would have said something that it didn't surprise me that this was going on, but, you know, people pass on. Ian Blair did become the Commissioner. I'm sure Dick Fedorcio served him well -- served his new master as well as he had served his previous master.

  • You just seemed a little bit diffident there. Perhaps you were more forthcoming with the freelance journalist than you're indicating or your recollection leads you. Did you agree or disagree with what was being said in relation to Mr Fedorcio? Can you remember?

  • I agreed with what the freelance journalist said.

  • Is this right: at this stage, your relations with Lord Blair, as he became, were extremely cordial? Is that correct?

  • Yes, indeed. I helped Lord Blair -- Ian Blair, at the time -- with his application to become commissioner. I was one of few officers involved -- small group of officers who were helping him draft his first speech as the new Commissioner, and he asked me to conduct an important piece of work close to his heart when he was first appointed. So there was every indication that relations between the two of us were good.

    In fact, I can remember having lunch with him between the time that he was selected but before he took up office, where he asked me what role I dearly would like in the new Metropolitan Police under his leadership.

  • In paragraph 18, you point out, as you've already told us, that Lord Blair's treatment at the hands of the media could not have been more different than Lord Stevens'. There was negative commentary. You say that you were told that he held a series of dinners where he wined and dined the newspaper editors. May I ask you where that information comes from?

  • Same source, I'm afraid. I didn't know many journalists. Ken Hyder.

  • I think it might have even been the same conversation about Dick Fedorcio.

  • Thank you. You say in the final sentence of paragraph 18:

    "As a result, good relationships with editors [and you name three papers,] the Sun, the News of the World and the Daily Mail [of course, they're probably the three largest, or at least were, in terms of circulation at that time] were seen as being more important than ever."

    Can I ask you about paragraph 19. This is the review of rape investigation in the MPS. Just deal with that in your own words and how that ended up.

  • I think it's about ten years previously. Ian Blair had written a book critiquing the way that the police were at the time investigating rape and calling for radical change. He called me into his office whilst he was still waiting to take up the post to ask me to conduct a review of investigation of rape in the Met, because having written that book, he wanted -- now he was going to become commissioner, he wanted the Met to be the best in the world on rape investigation, something he felt passionately about, and as a consequence I worked with a member of the police support staff, Professor Betsy Stanko, and officers from the rape investigation unit, analysing the performance of the Metropolitan Police on rape. It was clear -- and the Commissioner, Ian Blair, had the data, which gave cause for concern for him, which is why he asked for the review to be conducted.

    We examined the way that -- the trends that had happened over the four previous years. We identified some worrying statistics in that and as a consequence, we made some very strong recommendations, including a change to a victim-centred approach as opposed to the approach that had been taken hitherto.

    Unfortunately, during that time that we were conducting that review was the time that Ian Blair was having a very difficult time as Commissioner. We also had the terrorist problems and so forth, and when it came to publication of that rape report, it was significantly watered down in terms of both the grounds for change, highlighting the statistical data around rape investigation, and also in terms of the recommendations.

  • In paragraph 20, you tell us:

    "When I asked the press officer assigned to handle the media what Mr Fedorcio had asked her to do with the report, she told me her job was to ensure it received no coverage at all."

    Can you remember, Mr Paddick, when about this was?

  • Yes, because -- I -- the original draft document, the one that I say was significantly changed, was 19 August 2005, and the published version was November 2005.

  • There may be a lack of imagination on my part, but I ask the question so you can deal with it. What was the point, what was the possible point, of ensuring that the report received no coverage at all?

  • Because the report did contain -- still did contain -- highlight some difficulties with rape investigation, and even that limited criticism, it was felt, could have been detrimental to the reputation of the police.

  • Was that explanation given to you by the press officer or is it an inference you've drawn?

  • I asked the press officer directly and that's what she told me.

  • The message, as it were -- she was just the vessel, but the message came from Mr Fedorcio; is that right?

  • That's what she told me.

  • Thank you. May I move on to a different topic, and that is the tragic circumstances of the death of Mr Jean Charles de Menezes, which was, as we all recall, on 22 July 2005. Can we just look at the context of your evidence and then the particularly germane piece of which you give about it.

    In August 2005, Lord Blair gave an interview to the News of the World in which he claimed that neither he nor anyone advising him knew for 24 hours that the police had shot the wrong man. If I can short circuit this to this extent: I think it's accepted, or certainly this was the finding of Stockwell 2, which was the second report of the IPCC, that Lord Blair himself did not know that the police had shot the wrong man. But your point is that those close to him did know. Have I correctly understood it?

  • Indeed. And I -- the day after the interview with the News of the World, as it happens, was published, I went and saw the Commissioner, just him and me, and I said that whilst I didn't know whether he knew or not, I knew for a fact that those advising him did know within that 24-hour period.

  • Thank you. That, of course, was much later? That was at some stage in 2006 when you had at face to face --

  • No, no, that was the day after the News of the World article was published.

  • Which was one calendar month after the incident.

  • I think it's paragraph 23 of your statement which is or may be directly relevant to this Inquiry, where you say that you told an Assistant Commissioner about "what I had told the IPCC". First of all, so that we understand the context again, what had you told the IPCC?

  • Sir, I told the IPCC that two of the Commissioner's closest advisers, his staff officer and his chief of staff, had told me, I think it was five or six hours after the shooting, that we had shot an innocent person.

  • Thank you. Then paragraph 23, when did the conversation take place with the assistant commissioner, who you don't in fact name in paragraph 23?

  • I think it was in the summer of 2006. I think it was around that time.

  • Of course, you do name him at paragraph 303 of your book, so we might as well name him. It's Mr Tarique Ghaffur; is that right?

  • The next sentence of paragraph 23:

    "I am aware that the very next day he invited a BBC journalist into his room, dismissed his press officer, and talked to her for an hour about my evidence."

    How did you come to be aware of that?

  • I got a phone call on that afternoon from Margaret Gilmore, a crime correspondent then with the BBC, who asked me to meet her for a coffee, which I did. She told me that the previous day she had attended a press conference at New Scotland Yard that Mr Ghaffur was giving about an unrelated issue and that Mr Ghaffur had gone up to her immediately afterwards and said, "Let's go have a coffee", and Margaret Gilmore explained that Mr Ghaffur was in full uniform and therefore it was sort of limited as to where they could go for a coffee. So they decided to go up to his office, and this was Mr Ghaffur, Margaret Gilmore and the press officer. Margaret Gilmore told me that at the door to the office, Mr Ghaffur dismissed his press officer and that the two of them went in and that Mr Ghaffur locked the door and that the two of them were there for an hour.

    She then said to me that she could not reveal the source of the information but she wanted to put it to me that my evidence to the IPCC was that two of the Commissioner's closest advisers had told me on the day of the shooting that we shot an innocent person.

  • I think it's clear from what you're saying who the source of the information was to Margaret Gilmore; is that correct?

  • Yes. And, you know, in terms of leaks, luckily for me, the Commissioner's then staff officer was in the -- Mr Ghaffur's outer office when this took place, and so the Commissioner's staff officer actually saw Mr Ghaffur go into his office with Margaret Gilmore and dismiss his press officer.

  • Then you say in the last three lines of paragraph 23 the MPS then briefed against you by issuing a false statement suggesting that you had lied in your statement -- this is the statement you gave to the IPCC -- but it ended up with a threat of libel proceedings and they withdrew their statement; is that correct?

  • You point out in paragraph 24 what the IPCC's conclusion was in relation to the underlying investigation. This, I think, was in Stockwell 2, that you had told the truth in relation to what the Commissioner's close advisers had known about the identity of the person shot; is that correct?

  • A couple of other issues which you cover in your book, Mr Paddick. There was, I think, another conversation you had with Margaret Gilmore in February 2006; is that correct?

  • Do you have a copy of your book?

  • I'm afraid I don't have it to hand, no.

  • I should really have asked you to bring it along, but you can't be expected to remember it all off by heart. I think what you say here is that Margaret Gilmore asked you before the IPC had reported what was happening with Stockwell 2, and then you gave her certain information along the lines that you had given evidence to the IPCC and you said that off the record. Do you recall that?

  • Yes. Yes, I think I -- yes, I remember that, yes.

  • Then you say, trying to be helpful but not too helpful -- you're underlining the adverb too:

    "I recalled a story that had been put to me by other journalists that a senior officer had been told, while he was off duty at a cricket match on the day of the shooting, that the wrong man had been shot."

    I think the point is whether it might be suggested gently to you it was appropriate for you to be having any conversation with Margaret Gilmore along these lines, even off the record. Is that a fair point?

  • I think that's a fair point.

  • How often did you have conversations of this sort with Ms Gilmore? Are you able to recall?

  • I did not have much contact with Margaret Gilmore at all. As I say, the contacts that I mainly had were with the guy from the Financial Times, occasionally with the Guardian.

  • From your perspective, because this Inquiry is obviously concerned with relations between police and press, the conduct of each, what was the point of this conversation with Margaret Gilmore? We can see what the point was from her perspective -- she wanted to find out things which she might be able to use for journalistic purposes -- but from your perspective, what was the point of any --

  • What I wanted to make sure was that the truth of what happened in the aftermath of the shooting actually came into the public domain.

  • At what stage would it enter the public domain, though?

  • Well, there were contrary stories being printed in the press about what had happened, even though the IPCC had yet to report, and I felt that that was misleading and therefore it was important to put an alternative view forward.

  • Even though the IPCC were yet to report; is that correct?

  • Yes. But that wasn't stopping the press from speculating about what was going to be in that report.

  • Was it to ensure in any way that there wouldn't be any damage to your career and the possibility of professional advancement? Was that part of your thinking?

  • When you sit down in the Commissioner's office and tell him that what he has said in public isn't true, you quickly realise that your career is limited anyway.

  • Thank you. Then paragraph 25, you take us forward. This is probably 2007 now, is that right, Mr Paddick?

  • Yes. I think probably -- yes, probably 2007.

  • You were having dinner with a friend in the same restaurant as Piers Morgan, who was having dinner with someone else, and, to be clear, he approached you, you didn't approach him; is that correct?

  • And there was a conversation between you, evidently. Can you recall what was discussed?

  • He just said, "How are you, how's it going?" and I told him that it was quite difficult, one, because of the evidence that I had given to the IPCC, but also because of what Margaret Gilmore had put into the public domain about my evidence to the IPCC.

  • Was this before or after the IPCC reported in Stockwell 2? Can you recall?

  • Did you tell Mr Morgan that there was a cover-up in relation to the death of Mr de Menezes?

  • No, I did not tell him that, and I don't think I've used those terms.

  • I think I'm right in saying, although I don't have Mr Morgan's book here, that his version of events was that you did say there was a cover-up. Is that right?

  • Yes. And I think you'll find that there are probably other people who are referred to in the diaries who would also claim that what Mr Morgan said in his diaries were somewhat exaggerated.

  • To be fair to you, Mr Morgan himself has said that some of the material in his diaries was exaggerated, in his evidence to me.

  • I think that's right, isn't it, Mr Jay?

  • It certainly is.

  • There was a disciplinary investigation, which the MPS brought against you --

  • No, it was the Metropolitan Police Authority because the discipline authority for ACPO officers at that time was the Metropolitan Police Authority.

  • Thank you. May I ask you, because others have asked me to put this to you, that the last sentence of paragraph 25, and it's really this: why do you say that this appeared to be disproportionate action to protect the reputation of the MPS rather than appropriate action because you allegedly had said something to Mr Morgan that you shouldn't have done?

  • What happened was when his diaries were finally published, I had a conversation with John Yates and Sue Akers, who was at the time head of internal investigation, and they told me, and Sue Akers in particular told me that she felt there was nothing inappropriate in what I had done, in that I didn't tell Mr Morgan anything that wasn't already in the public domain.

    However, it would appear that Mr Yates then referred to matter to the Metropolitan Police Authority, who then initiated an investigation, and it seemed to me to be -- bearing in mind Sue Akers' view, her opinion on that, what needed to be done, that it was disproportionate for the MPA to instigate a formal investigation.

    To be honest, it was that along with a number of other things which got me to believe that if things had got to the stage where you couldn't even have an informal conversation with someone without being subjected to formal discipline, that this wasn't an organisation that I wanted to belong to any more.

  • Thank you.

    Paragraph 26. This is going back in time to 2001, but could you tell us about this, Mr Paddick?

  • Yes. There was history repeating itself, unfortunately. The police shot an innocent black man in Brixton and killed him, and there was a peaceful protest about that, which degenerated into a riot. As we've seen, but on a much smaller scale recently, officers from my command were examining local authority close-circuit television footage to try and identify the rioters, the looters, but what they came across was some footage of a young black man being chased by an officer in riot gear who is chased towards a line of officers in riot gear, it's pouring with rain, it's pitch black. The officer -- sorry, the young black man falls over, and then you see officers surrounding this young black man and sort of batons coming down, presumably making contact with the young black man on the floor, although you can't see from the footage. After only maybe 10, 15 seconds, you see him get up onto his feet and run off again.

    And my detective chief inspector, whose officers had found this footage, told me that I should see it, so he brought the video across from Kennington, he was based and where I was based, and I viewed the footage, and I made three phone calls. I made a phone call to Andy Hayman, who was then head of internal investigation, a phone call to my immediate boss, Mike Todd, and a phone call to the chair of the local community police consultative group.

    In consultation with her, we convened some trusted community leaders and, having ensured that they weren't a witness to this incident and therefore could be involved in legal proceedings, I showed them the footage and told them that I wanted to be completely open with them about what had taken place and that we would do everything we possibly could to identify the officers and to prosecute them.

    When my boss found out, my immediate boss found out that that's what I had done, I was told that the Commissioner was furious and that I should have only have told anybody about this footage if and when we had identified the officers concerned and prosecuted them.

    My view was I -- if, as happened, six months down the line we identified the officers and prosecuted them, that then the community had found out what had taken place and I hadn't told them what had happened, then that would undermine their confidence in me.

  • Thank you. We're going to move off these important matters to something equally important but specific now, the investigation into phone hacking, but I think this may be a convenient time.

  • Yes, that is convenient.

    You may have been told the Commissioner was furious, but did that reaction impart itself to you from the Commissioner?

  • So whatever he might have said, he didn't --

  • Mike Todd told me that he'd had a conversation with the Commissioner, where the Commissioner had said that he was furious at what I had done, but John Stevens, as it was at the time, never directly got furious with me about anything and I gave him quite good cause to be furious with me on a number of occasions.

  • All right. Thank you very much. 2 o'clock.

  • (The luncheon adjournment)

  • Yes, Mr Jay.

  • Mr Paddick, may I turn to the issue of phone hacking and the background to the judicial review proceedings? In 2006, you were, I think, a commander or were you Deputy Assistant Commissioner in the police?

  • Deputy Assistant Commissioner.

  • Is this right: that you had no involvement into the investigation into phone hacking in News of the World; is that right?

  • Because the investigation was firmly located within SO13, which is the anti-terrorist unit, which has special responsibility for royal security; is that right?

  • Yes. On recollection, I think SO14 is royalty protection, but I think probably SO13 took responsibility for the investigation because of the terrorist threat to the Royal Family. But I could be corrected on that.

  • Thank you. Did you have any direct dealings with Mr Andy Hayman, who was then Assistant Commissioner for specialist operations?

  • I knew him from dealings I'd had with him before when he was head of internal investigation, before he left the Met and became Chief Constable of Norfolk and then came back again, but otherwise it was just at meetings where I was standing in for my boss. Because we knew each other, we used to have informal conversations, but nothing formal.

  • You draw attention in paragraph 30 of your statement to a piece Mr Hayman wrote in the Times on 11 July 2009 under the caption "News of the World investigation was no half-hearted affair". I have a copy. I don't know whether you've seen this. (Handed)

  • Thank you. Thank you very much.

  • This was three days after the Guardian article of 8 July. I'll just read one or two bits out. Five lines down:

    "This was not the time for a half-hearted investigation. We put our best detectives on the case and left no stone unturned, as officials breathed down our neck. The Guardian has said it understands that the police file shows that between 2,000 and 3,000 individuals had their mobile phones hacked into, far more than was ever officially admitted during the investigation and prosecution of Clive Goodman. Yet my recollection is different, as I recall the list of those targeted which was put together from records kept by Glenn Mulcaire went to several hundred names. Of these there were a small number, perhaps a handful, where there was evidence that the phones had actually been tampered with."

    That sentence may need to be considered with Mr Hayman in due course.

    "Had there been evidence of tampering in the other cases, they would have been investigated, as would the slightest hint that others were involved."

    Again that's something which may have to be considered.

    "As is so often the case in the storm of allegation and denials, the facts get lost. Well-known figures such as John Prescott are said to have been the victims of the hacking without any clear evidence that their phones were in fact hacked."

    Then it continues, but you draw this to our attention, for which we are grateful.

    Paragraph 31, you take the story forward to the judicial review proceedings, and the first step there was 26 November 2009, when you instructed your solicitors, Bindmans, to write to the MPS with a specific Inquiry. This is at the first page of your exhibit, which is going to be about page 05518, I think, of our numbering. You'll have it as page 1 of the exhibit bundle:

    "We are instructed to ask you for the following information on behalf of our client: is the Met police aware of or in possession of any evidence to suggest that our client was the subject of unlawful investigative activities ..."

    You, I suppose, would wish to draw attention to the breadth of that request, Mr Paddick?

  • "... by Goodman or Mulcaire or other News of the World or News International journalists?

    "2. If so, what was the exact nature of those activities?

    "3. Is the Metropolitan Police in possession of any personal information about our client obtained by Mulcaire or others?"

    Then there's a standard DPA request.

    The answer came back at page 2. This is nine days later, 12 February:

    "We have now completed a search of all the material that was seized as part of our investigation into the intercept activity of Mulcaire and Goodman in 2005/2006. I can confirm that we have no documentation to suggest that your client was subjected to unlawful monitoring or interception of his mobile telephone."

    Do you have any comment at all to make about that answer?

  • Well, it didn't seem to answer the question. It seemed to be very specific about unlawful monitoring or interception, and it specifically didn't -- for example, it didn't answer the question as to whether or not there was personal information about me contained in Mulcaire's documents, for example.

  • Yes. Then there was a further requests by Bindmans, which made that point. We don't have it, but it doesn't matter because page 3 is the answer from the police on 12 April:

    "Material we seized as part of our investigation was obtained as part of a criminal investigation and is therefore confidential. Disclosure of this material can only be made pursuant to a court order. However, I can confirm that your client's name appeared on one piece of paper, together with an address which appears to have been attributed to your client by Mr Mulcaire, and the words 'police commander'."

    Of course, at the relevant time, you were a commander; is that right?

  • "However, as set out in my letter dated 12 February 2010, we have no documentation to suggest that your client was subjected to unlawful monitoring or interception of his mobile telephone. Although much of the material that was seized during our investigation could be classed as personal data, it is reasonable to expect that some of this, eg addresses, was in the legitimate possession of Mr Mulcaire and Mr Goodman due to their respective jobs. It is not necessarily correct to assume that their possession of all this material was for the purposes of interception alone and it is not known what their intentions were or how they intended to use it."

    So they're saying there that because it might have been for a lawful purpose, you can't infer that it was part of an unlawful conspiracy?

  • When in fact -- well, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but do you have any comment at all on that suggestion?

  • It appeared to us that Mulcaire was mainly, if not solely, employed by News International to hack into people's phones, and therefore the fact that -- I think the one piece of paper they're talking about -- in fact, there are more than -- we subsequently discovered there's more than one piece of paper with my name on it, but that piece of paper is from the printout from Mulcaire's computer, which shows me as a "project", and so I think it was reasonable for us to -- for there to at least be a prima facie case that I was the target of Mulcaire for the purposes of phone hacking.

  • We're going to look at the project document in a moment. This is when you're one of 320 names on a list. It's tab 157 in the judicial review bundle, which we're going to come to in due course.

    At paragraph 33 of your statement, you refer to the victims' charter, and you say there was, at the very least, the strong possibility that confidential personal information had been unlawfully obtained.

    There were then judicial review proceedings which were instituted. Can we move forward to paragraph 34. That locks into, or dovetails with, page 4 of the exhibit bundle, which is the Metropolitan Police's response to the pre-action protocol letter which started the judicial review, where they make really the same point as has been made in the previous letter we looked at.

    Page 5, under the heading "Mr Bryant Paddick", they refer to the correspondence. We've seen the correspondence.

    Then at page 7 on the internal numbering, they refer to the press statement of Assistant Commissioner John Yates dated 10 July, which -- I think it's the same statement which I quoted parts from in my opening submissions.

  • At the top of page 9:

    "The claimants are not victims of crime in relation to telephone tapping activities."

    And I think it just says:

    "There is no new evidence to justify reopening or reviewing the original police investigation."

    Well, "victims of crime" looked at broadly to cover victims of a conspiracy, that statement would be incorrect. But if "victims of criminal" is interpreted to mean specifically you were the subject of unlawful activity under section 1 of RIPA, would you say that that was accurate or inaccurate, Mr Paddick?

  • I still don't know, is the frank answer, because we haven't got access to all the material that we would need in order to make a judgment on that. There is certainly prima facie evidence -- for example, in Mulcaire's notebook, my mobile phone number is recorded, for example -- to indicate that at least it is worth further investigation to establish whether or not I was a victim under section 1 of RIPA.

  • Thank you. To be clear then, your position is there's prima facie evidence to suggest that you were, but not necessarily proof to the criminal standard.

  • Is that how you would summarise it?

    The formal defence to the JR application you refer to at paragraph 35 of your statement and in the exhibit bundle, it's between pages 10 and 27. Just one statement perhaps I'd ask you to comment on. Kindly go to page 13 of the exhibit bundle, and six lines down, the sentence beginning:

    "Therefore it was not possible for the defendant to surmise that interception of voicemail messages had occurred simply because a name and associated mobile telephone number and a remote retrieval PIN number was present within the seized documents. It would have been for the mobile telephone network providers to have provided evidence as to whether there had been unusual activity occurring with regard to that particular account."

    You see the point that's being made there. Do you agree with it or disagree with it?

  • I think if the police have a record in Mulcaire's notebook of people's identities, that there's a journalist in the top left-hand corner of the page who has instructed Mulcaire to carry out this activity, that there is a phone number and a PIN number -- I think that there is sufficient evidence there for the police to at least ask the telephone provider to investigate whether there was any unusual activity, rather than it being incumbent -- as is suggested here, that it's incumbent on the telephone company to complain to the police, albeit, remembering, of course, that the actual user of the telephone would have had no knowledge that any of this was going on at all.

  • Yes. One might liken this to a form of jigsaw puzzle where you need to have 12 pieces in case to prove your case of interception according to the criminal standard. You have about 10 of the pieces in place, you're missing two, and then you're asking, "What do we need to do to get the last two?"

  • It may be the last two are very difficult piece to obtain?

  • Paragraph 36 of your statement. You move forward to Operation Weeting and you tell us that you were shown documents which related specifically to you; is that right, Mr Paddick?

  • For the purposes of clarity, did the documents include reference to a unique voicemail number and/or a PIN number?

  • In my case, no, from what I can recall.

  • Without that information -- have I understood this correctly -- Mr Mulcaire could not have hacked into your phone? Or it would depend whether he'd written down those numbers in a different place? How are we to interpret the absence of this information?

  • From my understanding, one of the methods that Mulcaire used was posing as a member of the telecoms company, would phone the telecom service centre posing as an employee, and getting the telephone company to reset the PIN to the default. So even if I had put my own unique PIN number to protect my voicemails, potentially he could have reset it to the default number by phoning the help desk at the telephone company.

  • Therefore he did not need my PIN in order necessarily to access my voicemails.

  • So the missing piece of the jigsaw, to make up my 12 pieces, he would have had to have phoned in to customer services and reset it to default. Had he done that -- we don't know whether he did or did not -- then everything would have been in place to get access to your voicemail?

  • Have I correctly understood it?

  • So there's plenty of activity preparatory to the commission of an offence. Whether he's actually got that far, who knows?

  • Exactly so, sir. Exactly so.

  • But plenty sufficient, on my understanding of criminal law -- and yours is going to be larger than mine -- to prove a conspiracy; is that right or not?

  • That's my understanding.

  • Thank you. The section which begins at paragraph 38 of your statement deals with the investigation itself, and here, to be fair to you, you are commenting, but with your considerable experience, on documents which are or were made available to you in the judicial review proceedings on 30 September 2011, when disclosure was given in those proceedings. But have I correctly understood this: you're not giving evidence from your own knowledge; you're just providing a commentary?

  • Indeed, that's the case.

  • Your commentary has proved to be extremely helpful in our analysis of the documents, which will be undertaken with the officers starting on Wednesday, but are there any specific matters which you would wish to draw to our attention or you are prepared to leave it to me to raise these points and various other points with Mr Williams and his colleagues on Wednesday?

  • I'm reasonably content to allow you to probe these things.

  • I like the word "reasonably".

  • Well, you know, I'm very concerned about the aspects concerning the witness protection scheme. I don't know whether we're going on come on to that.

  • Let's come on to that specific document. Maybe not in the version that Lord Justice Leveson has, but certainly in the version I've seen as from this morning, paragraph 48, Mr Paddick, the original version of your statement made reference to nearly 800 victims.

  • Which was a deciphering -- and I must say, your deciphering was the same as mine, but that might not amount to very much -- of the handwriting of an officer in a conference note at the meeting with counsel on 21 August 2006. That officer -- it's Detective Superintendent Williams -- has confirmed that what looks like 800 is in fact 200 victims.

  • Yes. We both appear to have mistaken the 2 for an 8.

  • He's corrected that, and given that he'll confirm that on Wednesday, we will certainly correct that.

    The specific document, though, that you are concerned about is dealt with at paragraph 50 of your statement, which, in your bundle, is page 102 but in the master judicial review bundle we're working from is in file 3, tab 157. It starts at page 911. You don't, I think, have page 911.

  • I can read it out and if you do need to see t we can get you the page.

  • 911, did you say? Page 5 internal numbering?

  • Or perhaps, to make it even clearer, if you don't mind turning back to 908, please.

    The document you've exhibited is part of a printout of an analysis which a computer expert has made of one of Mr Mulcaire's computers; is that correct?

  • At page 908, under the heading "Tasking", it explains the circumstances and then carries on to say:

    "This case relates to two individuals who were obtaining details of mobile phone voicemail messages from prominent individuals, including members of the royal household and senior politicians. Attempts have been made to obtain personal details of [and then the politician has been redacted; we know who it is actually in this case] and Commander Brian Paddick. It is also believed attempts may have been made to corrupt serving police officers and misuse the police national computer."

    That, we think, is a reference to obtaining access to the witness protection scheme; is that right? Have I correctly understood that reference in the document?

  • I'm -- yes. From what I can see now, that appears to be talking about the same thing.

  • Yes. To the uninitiated, Mr Paddick, can you explain this in clear terms? The attempts which are being referred to, to corrupt serving police officers and misuse the police national computer, how at all does that relate to the witness protection scheme?

  • Well, I don't quite see the direct connection, but it's the reference to the DPS, the Department of Professional Standards Hi-Tech unit, who have done an analysis of the computer, and it is the result of that analysis, a printout from Mulcaire's computer, when shown to a member of the witness -- somebody who was working on the witness protection programme, that it appeared to that officer and to the detective sergeant working on the phone-hacking investigation that included in that printout from Mulcaire's computer were the details of people under the witness protection programme of the police.

  • It doesn't but if you cross-reference it, I think, with Mr Williams' witness statement.

  • It's the Detective Sergeant's witness statement.

  • What Maberly says is he got the printout from DPS of what was on the computer, and as a result of what he saw, he brought in an officer from the witness protection programme and the detective sergeant says something to -- words to the effect that it was quite clear to -- that there were names of interest to the officer from the witness protection programme.

    So I read from that that what Mulcaire was in possession of was the identities of people -- the new identities of people under the witness protection programme, and these would have included people like the people who were convicted of Jamie Bulger's murder, for example, giving them a new identity, and also similar to the case we heard of a few weeks ago, of a 16-year-old who gave evidence against a violent gang, who was given a new identity to protect him and the new identity was appearing in Mulcaire's computer when they examined it.

    Clearly, people are only put into the witness protection programme when the police believe that their lives potentially are at risk or they're in serious danger, and therefore, for this information to be in the hands of Mulcaire and, by implication, potentially in the hands of the News of the World, is clearly worrying.

  • And certainly worthy of further investigation, to put it as low as it can be put; is that right?

  • Well, both in terms of further investigation to establish who was putting these people's lives in danger, but also in terms of taking further steps to protect those people whose new identities had become compromised.

  • Thank you. You feature in this documentation, either at page 102 of your exhibit bundle or at page 966 of the bundle we're just looking at, and you're described as a "project name".

  • Whatever inferences one can draw from that I think are pretty obvious.

  • Indeed. But, of course, I was never told about it.

  • No. The consequences of this are set out in paragraph 51 of your statement:

    "With public knowledge of the scale of the voicemail interception conspiracy, it would have been very obvious that numerous journalists were also involved. There would no doubt have been a thorough investigation. At that time, evidence would have been available which has now been lost, such as data from phone companies, which is only kept for a certain period of time."

    That is an evidential problem which Operation Weeting is either encountering or surmounting, we don't know.

    "However, that did not happen and at the time the public were left with an impression this was a small scale operation involving two rogues."

    You also make the point that that was the public position which News of the World promulgated from 2006 onwards.

  • Paragraph 52, Mr Paddick. We've seen that email now and there are certain issues which arise from it which will need to be addressed.

    You do say, in contradistinction to the arguably secret position which was adopted vis-a-vis victims in general -- this is paragraph 3 -- that the MPS adopted a difference stance in relation to the Mail on Sunday, because they provided them with the names of journalists which were discovered in Mulcaire's notebooks. That's page 105 of your exhibit bundle, or page 852 of the judicial review bundle we've been looking at.

  • At paragraph 54, you draw attention to meetings which took place between those in a high level in the police and the News of the World. The meeting, Hayman, the Deputy Commissioner, Fedorcio and Wallis in April 2006 -- again, that's reference to a diary entry, is it?

  • That's my understanding, yes.

  • And a further meeting in 2006. There certainly was, to my recollection, a dinner in April 2006, but we'll be looking at those documents probably on Thursday.

    We've covered paragraph 57 and 58 is the witness protection programme issue. I think we can move forward to your concluding remarks and recommendations, unless there's something en passant which I've missed which you'd like to cover specifically?

  • No, not that I can see.

  • Thank you very much.

    You do say in paragraph 63 -- and you've heard DAC Akers give her evidence this morning, really seeking to contradict you -- that you don't have confidence in the current investigations. Could you expand on that, please?

  • I think the important thing here is about perceptions. It's about, you know, does the public really believe that this is being thoroughly investigated? With the best will in the world -- Sue Akers I have the utmost respect for. I worked with her. She investigated me on occasions and I have no doubt about her integrity at all. But where you have the Metropolitan Police Service investigating corruption, payments to Metropolitan Police officers, and -- I don't quite understand -- my understanding is that the committee in -- under -- that is working with the police --

  • Lord Grabiner's committee, yes.

  • Yes -- still comes under the same umbrella organisation, News Corp, as News International, so whilst it's maybe not in -- it is independent of News International, it's not independent of the parent company, as it were, and my understanding is -- and even from what Sue Akers said this morning -- that requests are put in to this committee by the police. If that committee decides that actually, as far as they're concerned, there's no criminal implications, that it is subject to journalistic privilege, then that committee does not reveal the information that the police are asking for.

    Now, bearing in mind the Metropolitan Police is heavily implicated, both in terms of allegedly not perhaps going as far as they should have done with the original investigation as well as officers from the Met receiving payments, then it's difficult to see how everybody could have complete confidence that the things -- we're getting to the bottom of what's going on. And I think about this -- or I talk about this hypothetical case where perhaps somebody very senior in the Metropolitan Police is seen to be having received inappropriate payments from somebody very senior in News International, how it might be in the interests of Rupert Murdoch or News Corp and in the interests of the Metropolitan Police for that not to be made public.

  • But your view of the integrity of the Deputy Assistant Commissioner demonstrates that if she thought she was being brushed off, she'd probably do something about it.

  • I do. I do believe that Sue Akers would say something. The difficulty is -- and as she is saying, for example, all the issues that we've had around the Sun newspaper she never asked for. It's been volunteered by this committee. What information are they not volunteering that Sue Akers is not aware of?

  • Sorry, something was set to me sotto voce.

  • What was said sotto voce was a reminder about Lord Grabiner's integrity.

  • Yes, I'm aware of that. So there's her, there is Lord Grabiner himself, as Mr White is saying, who is a very distinguished Queen's Counsel. There is the fact that the present Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner are not recently of the Met, as I understand it.

  • Well, I think -- I don't remember the exact timing, but Bernard Hogan-Howe may have been a senior officer in the Met at the time this was happening.

  • He spent at fair amount of time in Merseyside, didn't he?

  • Yes, but he was an Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police.

  • I know, I know, I know. The other problem I'm sure you appreciate is that obtaining a warrant under PACE in relation to journalists' material has its own complication. I put it no higher than that.

  • I understand. All I am saying is in terms of public perception, some people may not be convinced by the current arrangements and it may be better if it was an outside force who were investigating, purely from a public perception point of view. But I am not in any way casting doubt on either Sue Akers' integrity, nor the head of the MSC, I think it's called, is it?

  • You see, if you say that, you could say, "Well, you could go to Greater Manchester", but of course Mike Todd, who was the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, was indeed himself at the Met, I think if he's the same person you referred to before.

  • So the Met is a comparatively small -- I mean, the police force is comparatively small.

  • Yes, but it is possible to find ACPO officers who have no previous history with the Metropolitan Police who could lead up this investigation. Whether they would be better at it, I don't know, but in terms of public perception, I'm saying that it might be better. In my opinion.

  • Looking forward, Mr Paddick, in your recommendations for changes, paragraph 66, first of all:

    "A thorough revision of the rules so that they are clear and all police officers are aware of what is and is not permitted."

    How would you define in the rules what is and is not permitted?

  • I think that's fairly complicated, but certainly in terms of meetings between very senior officers and editors and other senior officials from newspapers, those meetings should all be formal meetings, they should all be minuted and those minutes should all be published, for example.

    Clearly there are, as with all of the -- this -- you know, the whole purpose of the Inquiry -- there's a lot of complexity and it's very difficult to actually make hard and fast rules, but certainly it needs to be made explicit as far as that sort of thing is concerned, simply on the basis that -- one of the first things that I was told when I went to initial training at Hendon was you shouldn't take free kebabs from the local kebab shop owner because you never know, in a couple of months' time, it might be that you catch him drink driving and that will compromise you. And a similar problem appears to have happened here, where senior police officers are entertaining people in a senior position at the News of the World and then end up having to investigate them, which puts them in a difficult position.

  • Perhaps part of the difficulty is they never thought for one moment that they would be investigating News International, that unlike your kebab owner who might be done for drink driving, this was an area which was outside possible scope of investigation. Is that possible? I don't know.

  • Well, it's possible, but I don't think journalists enjoy the highest of reputations, and therefore the possibility that some of them might be involved in some sort of criminality shouldn't be beyond the wisest imaginations of senior police officers.

  • Thank you.

    Then a change in culture led from above. That's obviously a very important point. How do you change culture from above? I appreciate it has to change from above, because that's where culture comes from, but how do you do it, do you think?

  • You start by setting the right example, and therefore accepting lavish hospitality, for example, if you are the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, does not set a good example in terms of the conduct that you expect from all junior officers.

    Also, going back to what I was saying this morning, if there is evidence that there is a culture of covering up inappropriate behaviour, then clearly officers who were engaged in that sort of activity will feel more confident that they can get away with it, bearing in mind if there was such a culture of cover-up, as I suggest that there certainly was when I was in the Metropolitan Police, that -- you know, that encourages or could encourage people to engage in inappropriate behaviour, as opposed to being completely open and honest, and justice being seen to be done when there's misbehaviour by the police would send a message to the junior ranks that such behaviour would not be tolerated under any circumstances.

    So there are various things that can be done from the top, and I have to say Bernard Hogan-Howe, in inviting in an independent person to look at culture and ethics within the police, is a very positive step forward along that path.

  • Thank you.

    The final question I have, and this really comes from another source, as it were: it might be suggested that you have a hostile animus towards the Metropolitan Police Service, given the circumstances of your departure, and maybe ambitions were thwarted and this has coloured the evidence you've given to this Inquiry. Is that a fair observation or not?

  • It's quite interesting because I think people were referring to an interview I did with Bob Wellings on a programme called Nationwide in about 1978 where, as a very young and immature police constable, in answer to a leading question from Bob Wellings about where did I see myself at the end of my career, I said, "Commissioner."

    I became far more realistic within a very short space of time as to what my ambitions were, and in fact at the end of two years, I told my then boss, my chief superintendent, that I wanted to be a commander, and he looked rather aghast at me and said, "When I was in your position, I wanted to be a sergeant." But being a commander was the limit of my ambitions, and when I became a commander in charge of Brixton, I did not feel that I wanted to progress any further. It was only when people in the press tried to derail my career that I felt it incumbent on me to prove that they hadn't done that by seeking one more promotion.

    And I have to say, my whole purpose for being here is because there are thousands of honest, decent police officers who, like me, are horrified by the sort of conduct that Sue Akers was talking about this morning, albeit a very limited number of people, and a lot of junior officers feel very let down by their senior officers, and I want and they want a Metropolitan Police Service that they can be proud of, and I think that's what the public want as well.

    The whole reason for me coming here and giving this evidence is to try and improve things, rather than to run the police down.

  • Sorry, there's one question I've missed out on the list that others have put to me. You've mentioned Mr Ken Hyder, who was a journalistic contact of yours. Is this right: that you, together with him, decided to develop a campaign to not arrest people for cannabis use and part of that campaign was to organise a front-page splash in the Evening Standard? Is that, broadly speaking, right?

  • I wouldn't put that spin on it. What happened was I became the commander in Brixton. Ken Hyder came to interview me as the new police commander, and he said, "All of your predecessors have failed. How are you going to succeed? What are you going to do different?" And I said, "One of the things I'm thinking of doing is not arresting people for cannabis."

    For three months, Ken Hyder and I worked on all the arguments that could possibly be put against it. We did research into whether or not it was a waste of police time to do that as opposed to what I thought we should be doing, which was concentrating on more serious drugs, and after that three-month period -- and bearing in mind how conservative, with a small C, I thought Mike Todd was -- I felt the only way to get the debate of this issue going was to allow Ken Hyder to publish a story in the newspaper that I was thinking about the possibility of police officers not arresting people for cannabis.

    Some years later, I came up with a policy to deal with stop-and-search. Instead of taking that potentially career-limiting route to get the debate going, I instead put it through the proper channels to my boss, and it never went further than him. So bearing in mind that that policy on cannabis is now national policy and bearing in mind that very little has happened on stop-and-search, I think I was justified in taking that rather unorthodox approach to getting the debate on cannabis rolling.

  • That actually identifies an enormous problem, doesn't it? Let me explain what I mean by that.

    You've made a significant point, with which I entirely agree, that policing is consensual and requires the buy-in of the public. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that the public are on side. The example of which I have spoken publicly and made speeches concerns witnesses to crime.

  • It's all too easy to say, "Well, the forensics will solve it and therefore we don't need to help", whereas in fact forensics are only available in a limited number of cases because of their expense.

  • So one has to get the public involved and participating.

  • If that is so, isn't a relationship with the press, who are or can be a medium through which you can communicate with the public, going to be critical, as you found in relation to drugs? And once you've made that an exception, and said, "I can decide to do that in relation to a policy which I want to implement", you've created a blur to the -- I was going to say the blue line, but I'll say the red line that you were drawing which is essential to establish cultural probity. Do you see the point I'm making?

  • Yes, I do. On the strategic command course at the police staff college, which is a course you have to do -- you have to qualify to get onto it and then you have to do it and succeed it at before you can become an ACPO officer -- one of the important lessons that I paid perhaps rather too much attention to was the fact that as lower ranks you have to work within the existing paradigm, but it is your job as an ACPO officer to see the world in a different way and then try to convince other people that your way of seeing things is the right way of seeing things, and therefore, as an ACPO officer, I believed it was my duty to try and get people to see the world in a different way around the policing of cannabis, and therefore it was legitimate for me to provoke that debate.

    It would not have been appropriate for me to provide details of an ongoing investigation or to do something else that was detrimental to the delivery of justice, but in those circumstances, at the level that I was at, I understood that that was part of my job.

  • I quite understand that, but if you unpick that, then maybe at that level or maybe at different levels, is it not equally important that the police have a relationship with the press so that they can, as it were, rely on that to encourage the public to assist in investigation of crime? If you say there is going to be a piece of plate glass between the press and the police, for the reasons which I quite understand -- and I'm not being critical of what you've said at all -- then do you risk undermining the opportunity to obtain that critical assistance which you will always require in order to detect crime?

  • I think it's very important for there to be a close and healthy and above-board relationship between the press and the police, and that's what I tried to maintain. So not giving away secrets, but on the other hand having a good working relationship, particularly with those journalists who shared a common interest, whether it was to deal with racism in the police as far as Jimmy Burns was concerned, or around the reform of drugs laws, as far as Ken Hyder was concerned.

    I'm not saying at all that there shouldn't be, at every level, good, healthy communication between the press and the police. What I'm saying is that we have to draw a line when it comes to police officers being paid for information. I do not accept -- you know, I might be old-fashioned in this, but I do not accept that if a story is in the public interest, you can pay a public official to disclose confidential information. I think it is an acid test of whether or not it is genuinely in the public interest that a public servant is prepared to put their job on the line for no money to put something which is in the public interest into the public domain.

    So I'm not at all saying that there should not be a good working relationship between the two.

  • No, I can follow that, but let's just pursue it a bit. You develop a relationship. Once you allow that to involve favours -- I'm not talking about money and I understand what you're saying about money entirely -- but meeting for a coffee, buying him a pint or a meal, you blur the line which you have identified and you run the risk of running into your kebab owner problem, don't you?

  • Exactly, exactly, and that's why -- you know, I'm not saying that I was not putting myself in a potentially difficult position if, you know, I stumbled across Mr Hyder when he was drunk in charge of his car, except that he never took me for a coffee or for lunch. But no, I accept completely your point, and that's why I think there needs to be a resetting of the rules around the relationship between the press and the police.

  • So it is much more nuanced?

  • And I'm sure you're right. So how you would -- and you don't need to answer this question now -- reset that relationship, using your experience, having reached the rank of deputy assistant commissioner? You don't need to answer that now --

  • But I will, if you would allow me.

  • And that is to say, both in terms of setting a good example to rank and file officers but also to avoid the kebab shop scenario, relationships between the police -- between police officers and journalists should be on the basis of formal meetings, not on the basis of gossipping over dinner or booze.

  • Would you say the same about the remarkable fact that when famous people are being arrested, there is a photographer present? Sometimes.

  • Well, not only that, but we saw when one or two of the suspects for the 21 July failed bombings in London -- when the police were going into the premises to arrest those people, it was broadcast live on television. How on earth does that happen without inappropriate collusion between the press and the police?

  • It may be considered appropriate, because it may be said by senior police officers: "This is a wonderful opportunity for us to demonstrate how effective the police are in connection with the investigation and detection of crime."

    Now, that may work for that. It may not work if it's a celebrity whose house has been burgled; I take that point.

  • Yes. I suppose that could be argued, but the fact that these people were arrested within days of the incident taking place I would have thought is enough testimony to the expertise and the diligence of the anti-terrorist branch without needing to tip off the media in advance that that's where it's going to happen and what's going to happen.

  • So you would draw a line there?

  • No prior tip-offs of any sort? Information that comes into the police about specific incidents must be retained purely within the police?

  • There is a real danger, in tipping off before that sort of raid, that somebody tips off the suspects and they escape.

  • Yes, thank you.

  • Thank you very much indeed, Mr Paddick. Thank you.

    Yes, Mr Garnham?

  • Sir, I gave my questions to Mr Jay. He was not able to ask all the questions which were suggested, and I'm grateful to him that he's asked many of them, but I would make an application under Regulation 10 --

  • The topics are these: the present investigation, the allegations of a culture of cover-up and the propriety of contact with the press, something you've touched on, sir.

  • All right, I don't think that's unreasonable.

  • Can I begin by asking you about paragraph 63 of your statement, Mr Paddick, about which you've already been asked questions by Mr Jay and by the chairman, and that is your comments about the current investigation under DAC Akers.

    In answer to Mr Jay, just a few moments ago, you said that your concern was whether the public would have confidence in that investigation. Your statement actually says that you have difficulty having confidence. Do you?

  • I do, for the reasons that I explained.

  • You do have confidence or you do have difficulty having confidence?

  • I have difficulty in having complete confidence.

  • And that is despite the view you take of the competence and integrity of the officer in charge of that investigation, is it?

  • And it's despite the confidence you've expressed today in the integrity of the man in charge of the committee at News International?

  • Have you also taken into account the fact that for the Operation Elveden element of this investigation, which is the matter that attracted particular criticism from you a moment ago, that investigation is subject to IPCC review?

  • I have concerns about the independence of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

  • And it is also despite the fact that investigation Weeting has been the subject of a review by the County Durham police?

  • I wasn't aware of that.

  • Do you not think that those four factors, Mr Paddick, justify complete confidence in the integrity of this investigation? You have an officer of the highest reputation, with whom you have confidence, you have provision of documentation by a committee headed by Lord Grabiner, you have jurisdiction being supervised by the IPCC and you have a review by an outside force? What more would it take to satisfy you, Mr Paddick?

  • I think it should be led by a senior officer from another force who has had no previous service with the Metropolitan Police.

  • If Durham have reviewed it and found it to be in keeping, then that at least deals with that aspect.

  • It's reassuring, sir, yes.

  • Thank you.

    You use an expression in your statement in describing the approach of other commissioners in the past to the press of being engaging in "a charm offensive".

  • That sounds something of a pejorative expression. Do you mean it so?

  • I mean that the Commissioners tried to develop good relationships with editors.

  • Are you critical of that?

  • I think it depends how far that goes and in what circumstances it's done.

  • Let's test it with the two examples you gave. First of all, John Stevens, who took over the commissionership at a difficult time for the Met, didn't he? The report into the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry had just been published. Morale was at a low ebb. Do you think there was anything wrong in John Stevens embarking on a charm offensive to better present the Met to the press and to better understand what the press were saying about the Met?

  • John Stevens was given the specific job of improving morale in the Met police and therefore he developed good relationships with the media in order to try and ensure that the best possible image of the Metropolitan Police was put forward, but --

  • Do you criticise him for that?

  • -- as I have indicated, he also was apparently not very happy were anything critical to be said or published, and I know that that's his job, but it depends how close that relationship is and whatever the press are therefore fairly reporting on police activity or not.

  • Do you criticise him for attempting to engage with the press in the way he did, in the circumstances he came into the commissionership?

  • I think I've just said that I think that the relationship between newspaper editors and very senior officers should be limited to formal meetings that are minuted.

  • You observe in your statement what a bad press Sir Ian Blair received when he took over that job. Do you think he was wrong to attempt to engage with the press?

  • Again, it depends on the circumstances in which he engaged with them, but clearly it's important for the Commissioner to try to ensure that the Met is seen in the best possible light.

  • You had a relationship with a number of journalists during your time at the Met. You've told us that you spoke to, on a number of occasions, three in particular I made a note of that you mentioned: Margaret Gilmore, Mr -- is it Hyder? -- and Piers Morgan. You had contact with journalists?

  • I didn't have relationships with them. I had contact with them.

  • I'm happy to take your word, that word, "contact". You did so because you thought it was appropriate in each case?

  • They were mainly approaches to me by them rather than the other way around.

  • Yes, but you didn't simply snub them?

  • No, of course not, no.

  • And you spoke to them?

  • You did so in circumstances which you regarded as appropriate?

  • What was your objective in view in having that contact with them?

  • To try and improve things in the Metropolitan Police, for example, around the way that drugs were dealt with, in terms of improving the police race relations, that sort of things.

  • Legitimate MPS objectives?

  • If that is the test, Mr Paddick, if the test that senior officers apply in deciding whether or not to have contact with the producer, is "am I pursuing a legitimate MPS objective", is that acceptable?

  • Again, depends on the circumstances, but generally speaking, yes.

  • Thank you. You talk about the receipt of excessive hospitality and receiving gifts or payments. Putting aside what is frank corruption of paying a police officer for information, what do you have in mind when you talk about inappropriate hospitality?

  • Three weeks' residential at a health farm at the expense of somebody else who has a connection with a company that's under investigation.

  • You're talking about Sir Paul Stephenson?

  • Yes, and his wife as well.

  • I'm not sure that's entirely fair, given the fact that I think the person who ran that organisation was his daughter's father-in-law, but that's doubtless something that we'll discuss with him.

  • Let me ask at a more prosaic level, Mr Paddick: when is it acceptable for a policeman to accept a drink from a journalist? Never? A cup of coffee?

  • In the light of the discussion that we've had today, and bearing in mind the example that is -- well, the conduct that is expected of patrol officers, for example, I would hope that the same applies throughout all levels of the organisation.

  • So where do you draw the line?

  • I guess having coffee over -- in a formal meeting, it doesn't really matter who pays for it, but when it comes to wining and dining, then I think that puts people under obligations.

  • Would you say it's never acceptable for, for example, the Commissioner to entertain a journalist, an editor, at a formal dinner?

  • Sorry, I think Mr Prescott has something to say. Sorry, I was interrupted. Mr Prescott appeared to want to say something.

  • Could you repeat the question?

  • Yes. Would you say it's ever appropriate or inappropriate -- tell us which -- for a commissioner to entertain a newspaper journalist or editor for dinner?

  • In the light of what's happened, with the benefit of hindsight, maybe not, but it's certainly not appropriate for that to take place when that editor's newspaper is currently under investigation by the police.

  • And in circumstances where the editor is not under investigation, would you regard it as appropriate?

  • As I say, from now onwards, I would say that it was inappropriate, but that wasn't the case then.

  • Without that hindsight, looking at your state of mind before this had happened, would you have regarded it as inappropriate?

  • If that newspaper was under investigation, then it was entirely inappropriate.

  • If they were not under investigation at the time, would you have objected to a Commissioner having dinner with an editor?

  • Can I ask you about Jean Charles de Menezes? Mr Jay has asked you a good deal about that already. I only want to ask you this: there was criticism in the press of Sir Ian Blair for the interview he gave that Mr Jay referred you to.

  • It was said, in the criticism that was taken and considered by the IPCC -- the question they were investigating was whether he told the truth when he said that at 5 o'clock that evening, he did not know that Jean Charles de Menezes was an innocent tourist, a Brazilian visitor.

  • When did you know that?

  • About five hours after the shooting.

  • The shooting was about 10 o'clock in the morning?

  • Yes, so it was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

  • Did you attend the meeting at 5 o'clock that evening when the case was discussed with Sir Ian Blair?

  • Did you tell him that you knew that the suspect was an innocent Brazilian tourist?

  • No, because the person who confirmed the identity of Jean Charles de Menezes in a meeting that I attended that afternoon, before the 5 o'clock meeting, was Andy Hayman. He was of higher rank than me. He was the head of counter-terrorism. He did not choose to raise that with the Commissioner in that meeting, and I felt it was not my place to contradict Andy Hayman and to raise that issue when Andy Hayman quite clearly did not want the Commissioner to know.

  • Why not? Why did you let the Commissioner go on and make that incorrect assertion if you knew it wasn't the case? Why didn't you say, "I'm sorry, I don't think that's right"?

  • I've just told you why.

  • What, because of rank?

  • Yes, and it's very difficult for anybody who has not been a police officer, as I was for 30 years, to understand the hierarchical nature of the police service and how it would be a career-limiting thing to go against a more senior officer who was present in the same room.

  • You would simply be pointing out a fact that you knew that in fact --

  • No, if I did, I would be pointing out a fact that Andy Hayman, a more senior officer, had pointed out to me, and therefore I felt that it was his responsibility and not mine to tell the Commissioner.

  • Did you say to him afterwards --

  • In addition, the two people who initially told me that we had shot an innocent Brazilian were the Commissioner's staff officer and his chief of staff --

  • I'm sorry, can I just understand this. Did this come up in this meeting? In the meeting to which you've been referred that you were present --

  • Yes. Yes, it did come up. Alan Brown was the assistant commissioner in overall charge of the operation. He started to talk about the fact that this person had been shot, and Andy Hayman interrupted him and said, "Yes, but we don't know -- we haven't established definitely what his identity is, we need to get DNA and other things", and that gave a very clear signal to me that Andy Hayman did not want that issue discussed further.

    But the other point in terms of informing the Commissioner was it was the Commissioner's chief of staff and staff officer who told me, at an earlier meeting, five hours after the shooting, that the person was innocent. I could not believe in my wildest dreams that they would have told me that information and not told the Commissioner. So I also assumed that the Commissioner knew, at least what his staff officer and chief of staff had said.

  • But you let the discussion continue on the misapprehension, on this vital question of this important case, that the man was potentially the suspect, when you knew he wasn't?

  • I told you -- I'm afraid I can't explain any further than I have done about how the hierarchy in the Metropolitan Police works.

  • But that's something that perhaps you don't understand.

  • You commented about an incident in, I think, 2001 in Brixton during the course of the riot, and you told the chairman how you had heard second-hand that the Commissioner, then Sir John Stevens, was furious at the way you proposed to deal with it. Sir John Stevens had quite a reputation for wanting these matters dealt with openly and frankly, didn't he? That was his repeated mantra?

  • Were you suggesting that evidence of assaults was being suppressed or simply that it was being dealt with in a different way?

  • All I'm saying is I informed members of the community because I thought that it was my duty to do so, and I was told by my immediate boss that the Commissioner was unhappy with that.

  • Was that not entirely inconsistent with the way Sir John Stevens went about his business?

  • I'm afraid I can't comment on that. All I can tell you were the facts.

  • All you can tell us is what you were told by somebody else?

  • Yes, who was an assistant commissioner, Mike Todd.

  • Thank you. Can I just, sir, to finish --

  • Well, you can certainly do that.

  • I thought that might be enthusiastically received.

    Can I suggest a correction is made to your statement? Look at paragraph 40. You quote or purport to quote from the witness statement of police officer Mark Maberly.

  • Yes. That other person is actually a pseudonym used by -- is that what you're going to point out?

  • No. I'm going to suggest -- and I'm sure it's an innocent error, but your quotation misses a word out in the first sentence. You put in inverted commas, in italics, as if you are quoting exactly from that paragraph. The word "tangible" is missing. Would you accept that from me?

  • I'll accept that, certainly.

  • So it's "the first tangible indication", is it?

  • Thank you very much, Mr Paddick.

    We'll have just a few minutes off, then we'll go to your next witness. Thank you.

  • (A short break)

  • Sir, the next witness is Baron Prescott, please.