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Rebekah rarely used notepads while editing The Sun, court told

By Press Association

Rebekah Brooks did not routinely use notepads during her time as editor of the Sun, the hacking trial has heard.

Brooks' long-serving personal assistant Cheryl Carter is accused of removing her boss' notebooks which had been archived in 2009 when she moved to "deep carpet world" as chief executive of News International.

After she was arrested, Carter told police most of the 30 notebooks in the seven boxes were hers from her time as beauty editor and she thought nothing was amiss in tearing up and recycling her belongings in July 2011 – at the height of the police investigation into hacking at News International.

Brooks's other PA Deborah Keegan told the Old Bailey that her boss would only occasionally scribble two lines in a pad and then discard it when she worked at the Sun.

Holding up a small reporter's pad and an A4 notebook, Brooks lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw QC asked her: "Mrs Brooks was neither in the habit of using one of these things or one of these things as any sort of diary of events?"

Keegan replied: "Not regularly, no."

She used a big pad to make lists of things to do and sketch out page layout ideas, but the pages were ripped out daily and thrown away once they were of no more use, she said.

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It was only after she went to "deep carpet world", as Laidlaw described it, as chief executive that Brooks took up James Murdoch's advice to keep a leather-covered pad.

Keegan admitted she had met Carter informally on several occasions since she had been charged, including lunch at a hamburger bar.

But she stressed they were never unaccompanied and they had only met after she had taken advice from News International.

When pressed by prosecutor Andrew Edis, QC, Keegan also admitted texting and emailing Carter.

Asked to explain the meetings, she said: "To see my friend who I had not seen for a long while, who was like family."

She denied talking about the case as she had been advised not to, and Carter's lawyer Trevor Burke, QC, pointed out there was no court restriction banning contact between the two.

Edis pressed Keegan again about Brooks' notebooks, asking: "Where did she keep things she wanted to keep permanently?"

Keegan indicated that they were kept in the diary or, if they were documents, in the PAs' filing cabinet.

Edis then asked: "That contained some notebooks, did it not?"

She replied: "It may have done."

Later, Jane Viner, News International's group director of property and facilities, described how she escorted Brooks from the office on the day of her resignation – 15 July 2011.

With only her handbag, a soft case and her disabled BlackBerry, she was escorted off the premises.

Viner said: "She was very upset – subdued and upset. It was very uncomfortable."

Former News of the World and Sun editor Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire, and Carter, 49, of Chelmsford, Essex, deny a charge of perverting the course of justice by removing potential evidence which could have been inspected by police.

All seven defendants in the case, including Brooks's husband Charles Brooks, Stuart Kuttner, Mark Hanna, Clive Goodman, and Andy Coulson, deny all the charges.

The trial was adjourned until 10am on Monday.




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