Feeds

NotW didn't delete Milly Dowler 'false hope' voicemail

Messages removed automatically, say cops

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

New evidence has emerged that shows that the News of the World was not responsible for deleting voicemail messages on murder victim Milly Dowler's phone, a move that gave her family false hope that the schoolgirl might still be alive.

Scotland Yard officers working on Operation Weeting discovered phone logs that showed that the now-defunct Sunday tabloid was not to blame for hacking the teenager's mobile phone in the first few days after she disappeared in 2002.

The Guardian had previously reported shocking revelations that suggested that individuals working for the NotW had obstructed the police inquiry into Dowler's whereabouts by deleting messages on the schoolgirl's phone.

But new evidence, reported in the Guardian and News International-owned Sunday Times [paywall], suggest that a private investigator had been instructed to hack into the teenager's phone a few days after her mother had thought Milly was accessing her voicemails.

Detectives working on Operation Weeting told the Dowler family in April this year that journalists at the Sunday tabloid had deleted messages on Milly's phone. They have since uncovered evidence that showed the girl's phone would automatically delete voicemails 72 hours after being listened to.

Some of those messages were deleted prior to anyone working for the NotW gaining access to Milly's voicemails, Scotland Yard reportedly said.

The Milly Dowler scandal sparked outrage against Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire in the UK. It led to News International sensationally shuttering the 168-year-old NotW, in a move to distance the company from what had become a "toxic" brand.

The fallout continued throughout the summer, with Rebekah Brooks - a one-time editor of the NotW - eventually resigning from her job as NI boss. The ex-chief reporter at the newspaper, Neville Thurlbeck, will give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry later today.

Murdoch's News Corp, the parent company of News International, agreed to pay £2m to the Dowler family in October this year.

The media mogul said at the time: "The behaviour that the News of the World exhibited towards the Dowlers was abhorrent and I hope this donation underscores my regret for the company's role in this awful event." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy
Even Moore's Law can't help the architects of statism now
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI
Read the paperwork very carefully - or fall victim to marketing shysters
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.