Joanna Lumley, Ian Hislop, Caprice Bourret, Bill Wyman, Peter Mandelson, John Cleese, Prince Charles' personal assistant, Tiggy Legge-Bourke, Jeremy Paxman, James Naughtie, Kate Adie, Peter Sissons and even former News of the World editor Phil Hall are identified today by the Guardian as among those whose personal lives were invaded by private investigators working for newspapers, magazines and broadcasters.
More than 17,500 requests from more than 400 journalists were made to access databases - such as British Telecom and the DSS - even though such access is a "criminal offence unless there is a clear public interest to justify it." The report adds: "They [PIs] also conned hotels, banks, prisons, trade unions and the post office into handing over sensitive information." No attempt has been made to prosecute news organisations. Just how useless is the law?
These detailed records belong to Hampshire private investigator, Steve Whittamore. For the full story click here. Nick Davies' extensive report - with names named - click here.