When court reconvened after the morning break Mr Sheridan returned to the subject of Steve Whitamore ( a private investigator who pleaded guilty to breaches of the data protection act) and put it to Mr Coulson that a large number of News of the World (NotW) journalists had used his services, stating that it was 21 out of 40. Mr Coulson replied that he did not know the specifics on individual journalists and indeed had not thought about the issue for "quite some time." Mr Coulson then challenged Mr Sheridan's figure of 21 journalists which he called "not right" although when asked for a specific number he stated that he did not know. Mr Sheridan asked Mr Coulson if Steve Whittamore had been used by the News of the World "while you were boss" The witness again said he did not know. Mr Sheridan then said that Steve Whittamore had been convicted in 2005 and this had happened "under your watch" Mr Coulson said he had not been involved with Mr Whittamore "in any way, shape or form" and added "in relation to you Mr Sheridan there was nothing untoward." Mr Coulson also stated that Mr Whitamore's services were used "across the industry, including the Guardian group."
Mr Sheridan then asked Mr Coulson about payments made by News International to Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman after their convictions for "phone hacking" Mr Coulson stated he was not invloved and that he had first heard of this at a house of commons select committee hearing at which he was giving evidence adding "the report is online, you probably have a copy" Mr Sheridan then produced a copy of the report, which was dated 04/07/2009 and read a section which appeared to confirm these payments had been made. Mr Coulson said "that is nothing to do with me Mr Sheridan" Mr Sheridan stated he was not suggesting that and Mr Coulson interrupted him saying "why are you asking me then." Lord Bracadale, the presiding judge then intervened and instructed Mr Sheridan and Mr Coulson to "stop shouting over each other" Mr Sheridan asked the witness again if he believed these payments which he characterised as "paying convicted criminals to stay silent" were in the "public interest." Mr Coulson replied "why do you keep asking me, I am not being facetious but I can't help you."
Mr Sheridan then asked Mr Coulson if he knew of a former NotW journalist, Sean Hoare and put it to him that Mr Hoare had alleged that the witness had knowledge of voicemails acquired by NotW journalists. Mr Coulson told the court that he knew that this had been alleged and he had voluntarily spoken to the police over the issue. The witness also told the court that he was "confident" there was no evidence to support Mr Hoare's allegation. Mr Coulson then stated that "given the job I do now I felt it was the proper thing to do," and that he had been interviewed by the police "about 6 weeks ago." Mr Sheridan then asked about the NotW's relationship with the police and asked if the witness was familiar with an Andy Hayman. Mr Coulson told the court that Andy Hayman had been the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police and sometimes wrote for the Times. Mr Sheridan asked if Mr Hayman had been in charge of the investigation into "phone hacking at the News of the World" the witness replied "he may have been"
Mr Coulson told the court he once had a meal with Mr Hayman but their relationship was "entirely proper" and he thought that "every editor on Fleet Street" had done the same. Mr Sheridan asked if the NotW held any information on Mr Hayman that could have been used to intimidate him into not carrying out a proper investigation. Mr Coulson denied the NotW held any personal information on Mr Hayman. Mr Sheridan then reminded Mr Coulson that he was "under oath" the witness replied "I know, the answer is no" Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if he there were any emails between him and Clive Goodman, the former Royal editor of the NotW. Mr Coulson replied, "yes he was a reporter on the paper" Mr Sheridan asked if Mr Coulson had emailed Mr Goodman asking him to "take the blame for the good of the paper" Mr Coulson responded "No, I'm positive, do you have that email Mr Sheridan?" Mr Sheridan responded "Mr Goodman has been cited perhaps we will hear from him" The court then rose for lunch.
When the trial recommenced Mr Sheridan returned to the subject of Andy Hayman the former assistant police commissioner, and asked Mr Coulson if he was aware that at the time of the investigation into alleged phone hacking at the News of the World Mr Hayman had resigned from the police force, the witness replied "he may have" Mr Sheridan then asked Mr Coulson if he was aware of what Mr Hayman was doing now. The witness replied that Mr Hayman "writes occasional pieces for the Times," which he agreed was part of the same newspaper group as the News of the World. Mr Sheridan then asked "The former police officer who investigated the News of the World got a job with News International?" Mr Coulson replied :"if you are insinuating there was a deal, there was none." Mr Sheridan responded "just answer the question, he got a job with News International" to which the witness replied "Yes, but first I don't know if he has a job or is a freelance and second it happened long after I left so I can't help you." Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that this "stinks of corruption" Mr Coulson replied "I absolutely disagree Mr Sheridan"
Mr Sheridan then produced into evidence a copy of a page from a notebook, that the court has previously heard was seized by police on a raid on the home of private investigator, and convicted phone hacker, Glenn Mulcaire. This shows Mr Sheridan's name, address, telephone number and what appear to be "PIN" numbers for accessing mobile phone voicemails. There is also a date on the notebook, 14/09/04. Mr Coulson denied that he had any knowledge of this or that the News of the World in London and instructed Glenn Mulcaire to "hack" Mr Sheridan's phone. Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that Mr Mulcaire had an "exclusive contract" with the NotW but again Mr Coulson denied any knowledge of the matter.
Mr Sheridan ended his evidence in chief by putting it to Mr Coulson that "his paper" had been involved in "illegal actions to do me in" Mr Coulson said that this was true in "the parallel universe that exists only in your mind" Mr Sheridan responded that "in your parallel universe we are asked to accept that in four years of your Royal correspondent tapping phones you never noticed" and asked Mr Coulson if he was "incompetent" the witness replied "that was for others to judge" adding that "he had taken responsibility and resigned from his job" Mr Sheridan asked if Mr Coulson now worked "beside the Prime Minister" to which Mr Coulson replied "I work with him, for him" Mr Sheridan said that he hoped that the witness had "his eye more on the ball" than he did as editor of the News of the World, adding "your paper printed unfounded lies." Mr Coulson replied "I don't believe we printed lies. With that Mr Sheridan ended his examination and returned to his seat in the dock.
The Advocate Depute, Alex Prentice QC then rose to cross-examine Mr Coulson. Mr Prentice asked the witness about the "McNeilage tape" (see Here ) and what steps he had taken to "verify it." Mr Coulson stated that he had told Bob Bird, the Scottish editor of the paper, to "make every effort to do so." asked where he had obtained samples of Mr Sheridan's voice to compare it to the voice on the video, Mr Coulson replied "we didn't have to try very hard" explaining that Tommy Sheridan had often been on Television and radio. The Advocate Depute then returned to his chair.
Mr Sheridan then briefly re-examined the witness asking him if he his face was seen on the video, to which Mr Coulson replied there was a "fleeting glance" Mr Sheridan then asked "if I was not on your radar how did you know my voice" Mr Coulson responded that it was up to "the people in court to make a judgement" Mr Sheridan then said "You don't need to wink at me" to which Mr Coulson replied "I'm not winking but it is your voice. Mr Sheridan then returned to his seat and Mr Coulson was allowed to step down from the stand.