Britain was awash in a new surge of outrage over the phone hacking scandal on Thursday, as news emerged that Scotland Yard had added to the list of probable victims a woman whose 8-year-old daughter was murdered by a repeat sex offender in 2000.
The tabloid at the center of the scandal, The News of the World, had championed the campaign of the grieving mother, Sara Payne, for a law warning parents if child sex offenders lived nearby, and she had written warmly of the paper in its final edition, calling it “an old friend.” A statement released on behalf of Mrs. Payne by the Phoenix Foundation, a charity she worked with, described her as devastated and disappointed.
The Guardian was the first to report Scotland Yard’s alert to Mrs. Payne, but the e-mail newsletter Popbitch suggested earlier this month that Mrs. Payne’s voice mail had been hacked and that the phone in question may have been provided to her by the onetime editor of The News of the World, Rebekah Brooks, as part of the campaign for the law.
Another outraged denial:
In a statement, Ms. Brooks confirmed that The News of the World had provided Mrs. Payne with a cellphone “for the last 11 years.” But she said she found the allegations that Mrs. Payne’s voice mail had been hacked “abhorrent and particularly upsetting as Sara Payne is a dear friend.”
At what point do we all start openly jeering and laughing whenever Brooks and Murdoch speak?