Furious voicemail messages left by Sheffield MP David Blunkett over false press reports about his relationship with a friend have been played to jurors in the phone-hacking trial.
The Old Bailey was played recordings in which the politician said he hoped whoever had leaked information to the media would ‘rot in hell’.
The jury was played recordings of messages seized from the home of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, in which Mr Blunkett repeatedly says the media storm over the affair claims was ‘vile’.
It is claimed the messages on the phone of former estate agent Sally Anderson were illegally accessed on behalf of journalists at the now-closed News of the World.
Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, read statements Mr Blunkett made to police, saying his messages were ‘intended for Mrs Anderson and for her alone’.
Former Home Secretary Mr Blunkett, Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, successfully sued the People over an article it ran incorrectly claiming the pair had a sexual relationship and he had made her pregnant.
The court also heard from Huw Evans, Mr Blunkett’s former special adviser, who described a conversation he had with Andy Coulson, challenging the then NotW editor over a story it planned to run in 2004 about the politician’s affair with former Spectator publisher Kimberly Quinn.
Mr Evans said: “I told him the photo proved nothing. I remember the tone of his voice – it was flat, unequivocal that he was absolutely certain the story was true and he was going to run it. I remember remaining puzzled as to why he could be so certain.”
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, aged 45, of Oxfordshire; Coulson, also 45, from Kent; former NotW head of news Ian Edmondson, 44, from Raynes Park, London; and the tabloid’s ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 73, from Essex, deny conspiring with others to hack phones between October 2000 and August 2006.
The trial continues.