UK

News Of The World Bullying Rife, Trial Hears Man Once Threatened Colleague With Replica Gun

23/04/2014 16:19 BST | Updated 23/04/2014 16:59 BST
CARL COURT via Getty Images
Former News of the World editor and Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson arrives at the Old Bailey court in central London on April 16, 2014 as he continues to give evidence in the phone-hacking trial. Coulson is among seven defendents on trial over alleged phone hacking at the defunct News of the World newspaper and related charges. All defendents deny the charges. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

A News of the World man was so aggressive that he once pushed a colleague into threatening him with a replica gun, the hacking trial heard on Wednesday. Former editor Andy Coulson conceded that bullying did exist in newspapers in the 1980s and 1990s, but denied it went on during his time at the NotW.

Former royal editor Clive Goodman said in his evidence to the Old Bailey that he was bullied and demoted. During Coulson's cross-examination, Goodman's lawyer David Spens QC said the editorial staff member, who cannot be named, was "a thoroughly aggressive individual".

Coulson replied: "No, I do not accept that." Spens said that on one occasion, while the man worked for another tabloid, a crime reporter "pushed beyond the brink, put a replica gun to his head and threatened to shoot him". Coulson said: "I have never heard that story before."

Asked if the man was "a shouter", Coulson said: "He would raise his voice, yes." He went on to say the staff member "did not rate" Goodman very highly. But he added: "I never saw any evidence of (the staff member) behaving in a way I would consider bullying."

Goodman admitted phone hacking in 2006 but denies conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.