Huffpost UK uk

Paul McMullan Says Phone Hacking A 'Victimless Crime', Ex News Of The World Journalist Stuns ITV's This Morning

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

It turns out the eight-month phone hacking trial was a huge waste of time - an infamous former News Of The World journalist has said hacking is "a victimless" crime.

Paul McMullan, who famously told the Leveson Inquiry that people should not be allowed private lives and "privacy is for paedos", has now said the thousands of people whose phones were hacked should get over it.

McMullan revolted his fellow guests Nick Ferrari and Christine Hamilton on ITV's This Morning by claiming phone hacking "doesn't exactly hurt".

Murdered teenager Milly Dowler's sister Gemma would probably disagree, given that she attacked Britain's political establishment for having an "incestuous" relationship with the media and made a heartfelt plea for press reform.

paul mcmullan

Paul McMullan's fellow guests were not impressed with his comments

Speaking after Andy Coulson's conviction for phone hacking, McMullan said: "I believe in free press and free society, and at the moment freedom of speech is going down the pan and newspapers are losing their teeth..."

Co-host Holly Willoughby said, "Do you need teeth like that when the actual impact on the families themselves is so huge? Gemma Dowler herself made a statement..."

McMullan, who now runs a pub in Dover, then said: "This was a victimless crime, there are no victims of phone hacking."

Phillip Schofield put it to McCullan that actress Abi Titmuss, one of the earliest celebrities to claim she had been hacked, was a victim of a crime and celebrities would have grown paranoid as they did not know how journalists were learning their secrets.

McMullan said: "How was she a victim? Was someone taking a picture? It doesn't exactly hurt."

PHONE HACKING:

McMullan was working at the NoTW in 2002, when Dowler's phone was hacked. He said it was done with "honourable intentions" of finding her.

He said: "I was on the Milly Dowler story... The problem was the police incompetence.

"I've got children of Milly Dowler's age and I was keen, like all my colleagues, to try and find the girl initially... the intentions were honourable.

"You talk about hacking, and it is a crime now, but it never used to be, it used to be a kid's trick - it wasn't a serious offence."

He also said: "When you hack into someone's phone, you generally only catch bad people doing bad things."

Ferrari, a journalist who also worked at the NoTW, said "Your views repulse me. I am ashamed to share a sofa with you if you think that represents British journalism.

"You are reprehensible... You are revolting and repulsing a nation. You are so out of step."

He added: "If the Dowler family are watching. On behalf of journalism, I apologise. You are beyond wrong."