When it came to light that News of the World were hacking celebrities’ mobile phones, the public was outraged by this breach of privacy. However, the scale on which they performed their hacking was extremely minor when compared to new information on the hacking habits of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People.
It is now known that those three publications hacked the phones of thousands of celebrities between 1999 and 2009. Some of the celebrities that were hacked include actor Sadie Frost and ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne. Dan Evans, who is a former journalist for the Sunday Mirror, hacked about 100 different celebrity phones every day for over a year. Publications were so desperate for juicy celebrity stories that a senior journalist at the Sunday+ Mirror begged Evans to create a device that would automatically unlock the pin codes for phones.
David Sherborne is the barrister for eight of the hacking victims, and stated how the knowledge of these crimes would have been known at the highest level of each publication group. The amount of hacking, voicemail intercepting, and the stealing of personal information that occurred meant that there were a large number of journalists from all 3 of the MGM publications that were taking part in it.
Evans, who later pleaded guilty for his hacking activities during his employment at the Sunday Mirror, admitted that he was ordered to create a ‘phone hacking database’ using pay as you go phones. Evans would throw these burner phones into the River Thame every couple of months in order to cover up his illegal activities.