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Invoices submitted to News International "sometimes made explicit reference to obtaining a target's details from their phone number or their vehicle registration." Whittamore, Boyall, and two others pleaded guilty in April 2005.According to ICO head Richard Thomas, "each pleaded guilty yet, despite the extent and the frequency of their admitted criminality, each was conditionally discharged [for two years], raising important questions for public policy." On 14 November 2005, the News of the World published an article written by royal editor Clive Goodman, claiming that Prince William was in the process of borrowing a portable editing suite from ITV correspondent Tom Bradby.Attempts to access Cook's voicemail and that of his wife, and possibly hack his computer and intercept his post were also suspected.Documents reportedly held by Scotland Yard show that "Mulcaire did this on the instructions of Greg Miskiw, assistant editor at News of the World and a close friend of Marunchak." The Metropolitan Police Service handled this apparent attempt by agents of the News of the World to interfere with a murder inquiry by having informal discussions with Rebekah Brooks, then editor for the newspaper.
The ICO raided a private investigator named John Boyall, whose specialty was acquiring information from confidential databases.
In 2002, under the title Operation Motorman, the Information Commissioner's Office, raided the offices of various newspaper and private investigators, looking for details of personal information kept on unregistered computer databases.
The operation uncovered numerous invoices addressed to newspapers and magazines, which detailed prices for the provision of personal information.
The investigator...accused authorities of being too 'frightened' to tackle journalists." Learning that Steve Whittamore was obtaining information from the police national computer, the Information Commissioner contacted the Metropolitan Police and the Met's anti-corruption unit initiated Operation Glade.
Whittamore's detailed records identified 27 different journalists as having commissioned him to acquire confidential information for which they paid him tens of thousands of pounds.