'A must read for anyone who wants to understand not only our media, but power in Britain' – OWEN JONES, author The Establishment
'Top court reporting' – NICK DAVIES, THE GUARDIAN
A factual account of the trial of British newspaper journalists for phone hacking, corruption of officials and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Among the accused were the former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. This book covers every twist and turn of the case, which was heard in London in 2013 and 2014.
Peter Jukes, an award-winning TV crime writer, starts at the beginning. In October 2013, an eight-month trial starts at the most famous court complex in London, the Old Bailey. It's a showdown that pits tabloid newspaper executives from Rupert Murdoch's News International against the British state. The journalists are accused of phone hacking, corrupting public officials and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. After years of cover up involving News International, the Metropolitan Police and the Government, the judge tells the jury: "British justice is on trial".
After tweeting the first few days, Peter Jukes accidentally becomes the UK's first crowd-funded journalist. New media exposes the old as the trial lays bare the venality and surveillance of the News of the World: its ability to pry into the lives of anyone who matters, at any moment. A Hollywood actress. A missing girl. A Cabinet minister.
It's also a battle with Rupert Murdoch's millions; seven defendants hire London's top QCs. Rebekah Brooks has the £5,000-a-day silk for corporations, Jonathan Laidlaw. Several times the multi-million pound case totters on the brink of collapse. Drawing on verbatim court exchanges and exhibits, Jukes reveals the daily reality and grand strategies of a major criminal trial. He gives the secret of Rebekah Brooks' 14 days in the witness box. He explains why during a cigarette break a defence lawyer gave him a wry smile. And he discloses the failings of the Crown Prosecution Service which contribute to the (to some) shocking verdicts.