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Andy Coulson denies a culture of bullying on his watch

By Emily Pennick

A News of the World man was so aggressive that he once pushed a colleague into threatening him with a replica gun, the hacking trial heard yesterday.

Former editor Andy Coulson conceded that bullying did exist in newspapers in the 1980s and 1990s, but denied it went on during his time at the NotW.

Former royal editor Clive Goodman said in his evidence to the Old Bailey that he was bullied and demoted. During Coulson's cross-examination, Goodman's lawyer David Spens QC said the editorial staff member, who cannot be named, was "a thoroughly aggressive individual".

Coulson replied: "No, I do not accept that." Mr Spens said that on one occasion, a crime reporter "pushed beyond the brink, put a replica gun to his head and threatened to shoot him".

Coulson said: "I have never heard that story before."

Asked if the man was "a shouter", Coulson said: "He would raise his voice, yes."

Goodman admitted phone hacking in 2006 but denies conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.

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