NOVEMBER 21 2011 14:29h
Slain girl's parents testify about hacking
Sally and Bob Dowler, accustomed to hearing a recording that their daughter's voice mail box was full, said they were thrilled when they thought Milly Dowler had picked up her messages, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.
But Milly Dowler's phone had been breached and messages were deleted by Glenn Mulcaire, a private detective hired by the defunct News of the World.
"At first we were able to leave messages and then her voice mail became full ... so I was used to hearing that," Sally Dowler told a government inquiry. The inquiry was ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron after it emerged that Milly Dowler, 13, who was abducted and killed, had been a subject of the phone-hacking scandal that forced the News of the World to close and resulted in the arrests of several members of the newspaper's management team.
"I rang her phone and it clicked through on to her voice mail and I just jumped and said: 'She's picked up her voice mails Bob, she's alive,'" Sally Dowler said. "When we heard about the hacking that was the first thing I thought."
She said the revelation about her daughter's phone being hacked had been "terribly difficult to process."
"We would sincerely hope that News International [parent of News of the World] and other media organizations would look very carefully how they procure, how they obtain information about stories. Obviously, the ramifications are far greater than what appears in the press," Sally Dowler said.
The mother told the inquiry into media culture, practices and ethics she didn't sleep for three days after learning her daughter's phone was hacked, the BBC said.
Celebrities Hugh Grant, Steve Coogan and J.K. Rowling also were scheduled to testify.
LONDON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The parents of a slain British schoolgirl testified they had false hope that their daughter was alive because a hacker had cleared the girl's voice mail.