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Leveson Inquiry: Kate McCann felt ‘mentally raped’ when diary published

Original Source:  JAIL LIFE: 16 NOVEMBER 2011
 November 16th, 2011 Petr

Kate McCann, the mother of missing toddler Madeleine, felt “mentally raped” when her private diary was published in a tabloid newspaper, the Leveson inquiry has heard. 


Mrs McCann‘s thoughts and feelings about her daughter’s disappearance were printed in extracts from her personal journal, which appeared in the News of the World in 2008.


David Sherborne, the lawyer acting for 51 victims of press intrusion, told Lord Justice Leveson that the publication of the diary was a “blatant intrusion” into the McCann family’s private live.



They “begged for restraint” but little was shown, Mr Sherborne said.



The News of the World later apologised for printing the diary, which was leaked by a reporter after being in the possession of the Portuguese police.



The revelations came on the third day of the Leveson inquiry as the court heard:



• The mother of Hugh Grant’s baby allegedly received abusive phone calls because the actor criticised the press.


• The News of the World tried to convince private investigator Derek Webb to “become” a journalist by joining the National Union of Journalists.


• Former Formula One boss Max Mosley believes the News of the World’s coverage of his private life contributed to his son Alexander’s suicide.


• The mother of Charlotte Church tried to commit suicide after press allegations about her husband’s affair.


• Not all 28 ‘corner names’ listed in the notebook of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were News of the World staff, contrary to what inquiry counsel Robert Jay previously claimed.


• Mr Sherborne compared self-regulation of the press to “handing the police station over to the mafia”.


• He said the tabloid press were part of the “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil brigade” in covering up phone hacking.


• Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian newspaper, said 99 per cent of journalists do not know how to hack and most do not come to work to “snoop”.


• Michelle Stanisbrook, general secretary of the NUJ, accused the Press Complaints Commission of being a “self-serving gentleman’s club which has failed abysmally”.


Mr Sherborne, whose clients include celebrities Hugh Grant and JK Rowling, said Gerry McCann will address the inquiry next week to explain how the Press Complaints Commission was “hopelessly inadequate” in helping his family fend off media intrusion.


He said the pursuit of Madeleine McCann’s parents by tabloid newspapers represented “some of the darkest days for this section of the press”.


Mr Sherborne also said Christopher Jefferies, the landlord of murdered architect Joanna Yates, said he felt “raped” by the media vilification of his character leading up to his arrest.


“It was a devastating destruction of all aspects of Mr Jefferies’ life, from his professional to the deeply personal,” he said.


“Like clumsy thieves drunk on the intoxicating frenzy of a good story, the press broke into his life.”


The Leveson inquiry into press standards was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in July at the height of the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World.


Part one is expected to last three months.


The hearing will resume on Monday, when Lord Justice Leveson will hear from 21 witnesses, including singer Charlotte Church and comedian Steve Coogan.


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