Sunday, September 4, 2011

#Hackgate #NOTW Ross Hall, 15th person to be arrested.

The 15th person to be arrested in the News of The World phone-hacking investigation is the youngest. A 30-year-old man went to a North London police station by appointment on Friday, and was questioned about phone-hacking and perverting the course of justice, before being released on bail until at least January. He's reported to be Ross Hall aka Ross Hindley.

Ross is the nephew of former News of the World editor, Phil Hall.  Uncle Phil took the big chair in 1995, and Ross followed a year later, working in school and college holidays, and quite often on Saturdays. He worked as a messenger, and sometimes on Saturdays, covered the Editor's PA's phones when the PA had gone home. Phil moved on in 2000, making way for Rebekah Wade.  Ross undertook some more formal training with the Archant group of newspapers in Essex, before returning to the News of the World as a reporter in 2005.

He used the byline Ross Hindley until September 2006, reverting to his mother's maiden name when his parents divorced. Thenceforward he's won over 100 bylines until 2009, when he went travelling around the world with partner and Sunday Mirror reporter Lori Campbell.  Lori's previous claim to fame was going to Portuguese police with concerns about the behaviour of ex-pat Robert Murat, after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann - eventually 11 British newspapers paid over £500k in damages to Murat. Ross and Lori both achieved a substantial number of bylines from the McCann story in Portugal.

In June 2010, Ross got a job with Financial Dynamics, a PR firm based in Holborn, working on "special projects".  At one stage, his website described his skills thus "Ross currently helps clients facing scrutiny. Using his deep understanding of tabloid investigative techniques, he advises on how to neutralise media attacks."