The Guardian is reporting that police believe Glenn Mulcaire, the investigator once employed by the News of the World who's at the center of the News Corp. hacking scandal, targeted the voicemail of Sara Payne, mother to 8-year-old Sarah Payne, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2000.
The news recalls the revelation that the News of the World had hacked the voicemail of Milly Dowler, another kidnapping and murder victim, and even deleted some of the messages left on her phone when its inbox filled up.
The Dowler story led to the recent explosion of interest in the hacking scandal, but this latest report might actually be worse for News Corp., because the phone Mulcaire is said to have targeted was actually given to Sara Payne by Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News Corp. subsidiary News International. During her time as editor of News of the World, Brooks was, by her own admission, very involved in the story of Sarah Payne and in a push for a law named for her. During her recent testimony before a Parliamentary committee, Brooks repeatedly referred to her work on behalf of Sarah's Law, calling it "part of the main focus" of her tenure as the tabloid's top editor.
Brooks also said, "In the main, my use of private investigators while I was editor of the News of the World was purely legitimate and in pursuit in the main, as you know, of the addresses and whereabouts of convicted pedophiles through Sarah's Law. That is my majority—if not almost my exclusive—use of private investigators."
For now, there appears to be no hard evidence that Sara Payne's voicemail actually was hacked; the Guardian reports only that police have evidence Payne may have been targeted.