Stuart Hoare said on Monday that his younger brother, whose body was discovered in his Watford home in July, had claimed in emails the practice was „routine at the Sun“ and „probably more daily at the News of the World“. Hoare also said Sean had told him these were both practices he had witnessed.
In a written witness statement to the inquiry, Stuart Hoare also claimed: „Sean had worked with certain individuals at both the Sun and News International where phone hacking was a daily routine.
„I know this to be the case because Sean and I regularly discussed this and there are emails in existence which support Sean’s description of a practice referred to during such meetings as ‚the dark side‘.
„The reality was that phone hacking was endemic within the News International group (specifically Sean identified that this process was initiated at the Sun and later transferred to the News of the World) and he went on record both verbally and in writing to make this claim.“
Sean Hoare started shifting at the Sun in 1990, where he first met Andy Coulson, and eventually became deputy editor of the Bizarre showbiz column, according to his brother’s witness statement. He also worked for the Sunday Mirror and People „before finally settling at the News of the World“. He left the paper in 2005.
Speaking about his brother’s own involvement in phone hacking, Hoare told the inquiry: „Sean didn’t realise at the time that he was probably doing wrong. He got carried away like a lot of journalists and was certainly under a lot of pressure from seniors to deliver.
„I think he thought he was producing, he was getting the stories, he was getting his name on the front page.“
In his witness statement, Hoare wrote that during his brother’s journalism career, „alcohol was always an accepted part of the job, many a relationship/meeting made over a drink, no matter what time of day“.
Stuart Hoare was asked by Lord Justice Leveson why his brother thought drink and drugs were part of the job. „I think Sean in his way thought that within the entertainment world, to allow Sean to do some of the jobs, to gain the friendship of certain individuals, Sean felt that he had to be like them. I hate it, I don’t understand it, but that’s what he did,“ Hoare replied. „He came close to a lot of celebrities and got a lot of information that benefited him and his employer.“
However, Hoare said his brother had probably been away from drink and drugs for „about seven or eight months“ when he talked to the New York Times about phone hacking. The New York Times published a story featuring Hoare’s allegations in September 2010.
„Sean’s decision to go public certainly wasn’t motivated by money as he did not get a single penny for any of the articles written in the New York Times. His sole motivation was based on trying to put wrongs right,“ Hoare wrote in his witness statement.
„Sean, in early 2010, was in an ideal position to blow the whistle on phone hacking as he had been completely sober for the last 12 months and was now self-employed.“
However, Hoare wrote that in December 2010 his brother began drinking again „as he became caught up in the phone-hacking scandal“.
Concluding his evidence to the inquiry on Monday, Hoare said: „I’ve found it very, very difficult today not to name names. But the seniors that were involved in the practices that went on know they were involved and know they were in the wrong.
„Sitting here today I’ve tried to put some of the wrongs right on [Sean’s] behalf and [on behalf of] his ex-colleagues who have suffered pain and imprisonment.“
The inquest into Sean Hoare’s death in November found that he had died of natural causes. The Hertfordshire cononer, Edward Thomas, said Hoare suffered from alcoholic liver disease.
James Hanning, the deputy editor of the Independent on Sunday, told the inquiry that Sean Hoare had „named about eight people“ at the News of the World who he had claimed were involved in phone hacking.
Hanning said he had told him the names in the context of a discussion about an unnamed journalist at the paper who Hoare believed would co-operate with the police investigation into the practice.
„He said ‚X will probably sing‘ … and then he named about eight people,“ Hanning said. He added that Hoare had given him the impression that hacking had been taking place „as long as he had been at the News of the World, maybe longer“.
Asked if Hoare had told him the practice had also been used at the Sun, Hanning said: „I don’t remember him saying that specifically.“ He claimed „he would assume I would understand that to be the case“.
Hanning also said Hoare had told him that well-known figures who regarded themselves as friends of senior managers at the paper were hacked.
„He talked about it as if it was just one shot in the locker,“ he added.
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