Phone-hacking trial: Coulson gave order to ‘do his phone’

Andy Coulson instructed a colleague investigating a story about model Calum Best to "do his phone", jurors in the phone-hacking trial have been told.

The prosecution said the News Of The World editor sent an email on May 20th 2006 containing the phrase to the tabloid's news editor, Ian Edmondson.

The email was sent one day before the News Of The World broke a story revealing Best was expecting to become a father by ex-model Lorna Hogan.

Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting for the crown, told jurors the senior journalists were concerned that Best would go to another newspaper with the development.

"The evidence that we have doesn't actually reveal that there was any phone hacking of Best but it doesn't mean there wasn't," Edis told jurors.

"The prosecution say frankly the evidence against Ian Edmondson is absolutely overwhelming."

Both Coulson and Edmondson deny conspiracy to intercept mobile phone messages.

The crown alleged that previously convicted phone-hacker Glenn Mulcaire was asked to hack into the phone of former Cabinet minister Charles Clarke's special adviser Hannah Pawlby over unfounded allegations she was having an affair with Clarke.

Edis suggested the tabloid investigated stories using phone-hacking, surveillance and confrontation.

"They were chasing a shadow. But they were chasing it keenly and it was Mr Coulson who was chasing it," he claimed.

In a further development, jurors were shown an email which allegedly detailed payments to police officers in Buckingham Palace.

The email, from royal editor Clive Goodman to Coulson, explained that he had struggled to get authorisation for a £1,000 payment to a "Kensington Palace copper" from managing editor Stuart Kuttner, who is one of eight defendants in the current trial.

The email stated: "I'm not criticising Stuart at all but these people will not be paid in anything other than cash because if they’re discovered selling stuff to us they end up on criminal charges, as could we."

The trial continues.