Everyone expected the police to make some shocking discoveries while digging through the News of the World phone hacking evidence, but The Guardian is reporting a bombshell. Scotland Yard notified Sara Payne, the mother of murdered eight-year-old Sarah Payne, that she had been targeted by News of the World's private investigator and phone hacker Glenn Mulcaire. Payne's personal details were found in Mulcaire's notes, which suggest that a phone gifted to Payne by News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks was hacked. One of Payne's close friends told The Guardian, "We are all appalled and disgusted. Sara is in bits about it."
The details are still fuzzy about what exactly News of the World did with the phone, but the connection to another high-profile murder case spells trouble for News Corp. Rebekah Brooks has cited News of the World's involvement in the Sarah Payne case as an example of the paper having done good. Indeed, News of the World played a key role in passing new legislation inspired by the case to help fight sex offenders that's been dubbed "Sarah's law." Brooks referred to Sarah's law as recently as her hearing at Parliament earlier this month. Questions arose then about the paper's use of private detectives, and Brooks said that work around the Sarah's law was the only case in which she used a private detective.