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Rebekah Brooks told Colin Montgomerie's ex phone hacking 'so easy', court hears

By Ryan Hooper

Rebekah Brooks said phone hacking was "so easy", the former wife of golf star Colin Montgomerie told a court yesterday, detailing an intimate lunch she shared with the former News of the World editor.

Eimear Cook told the Old Bailey she had been besieged by the Press after her break-up with Mr Montgomerie in 2004.

She was invited to lunch in Knightsbridge with Ms Brooks, then the editor of The Sun, in September that year.

Ms Cook, the mother of the golfer's three children, said the invitation was "well meant" and intended to help her understand the media better.

"We discussed a lot about public figures, people in the media, in a gossipy, fun way," said Ms Cook, who was married to the former European Ryder Cup team captain for 14 years from 1990.

"The bit I remember the most was the topic about how easy it was to listen to other people's voice messages so long as they had not changed their factory-fixed pin number.

"She [Ms Brooks] said that it was so easy to do, she could not believe that people had all those advisers and they never knew you had to change and personalise the pin code to make the voicemail secure.

"She told me Heather Mills was engaged to Sir Paul McCartney at the time and she had thrown her ring out of a window, it was in parentheses about phone hacking.

"I had the impression she was talking about Sir Paul McCartney's phone not having its pin code changed," she said.

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