Report: News of the World May Have Targeted Mother of Murdered Child

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A picture taken on July 1, 2011 shows Chief Executive of News International, and former editor of Britain's News of the World newspaper, Rebekah Brooks, at the men's single semi final at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London.  British police on July 17, 2011 arrested Rebekah Brooks, the former head of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper wing, over the phone hacking scandal, British media reported. Scotland Yard said in a statement that a 43-year-old woman had been arrested over allegations of phone hacking and corruption. They would not confirm it was Brooks, 43, and there was no immediate comment from News International. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 1, 2011 shows Chief Executive of News International, and former editor of Britain's News of the World newspaper, Rebekah Brooks, at the men's single semi final at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London. British police on July 17, 2011 arrested Rebekah Brooks, the former head of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper wing, over the phone hacking scandal, British media reported. Scotland Yard said in a statement that a 43-year-old woman had been arrested over allegations of phone hacking and corruption. They would not confirm it was Brooks, 43, and there was no immediate comment from News International. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: LEON NEAL/2011 AFP

Sara Payne has been notified that she may have been targeted by Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator who worked with the now-shuttered News of the World in the days and months after her daughter Sarah was abducted and murdered in 2000. It was Payne's case, and the resulting campaign led by NotW editor Rebekah Brooks, that led to the passage of Sarah's law — a rule that allows parents to ask police about prior sex offenses for anyone who has regular and unsupervised contact with their children. At first it was thought that Payne had not been on a list of targets in Mulcaire's notes, and she even contributed a farewell column for the NotW's final edition. But now police have discovered that while her name was not on Mulcaire's list, her personal information was. This is particularly unsettling to Payne, as the paper had provided her with a cell phone in 2000 and continued to pay for it for eleven years.

There's no evidence it was hacked so far, but nonetheless Payne said she was "absolutely devastated and deeply disappointed" by her connection to the scandal. Brooks chimed in to say that "these allegations are abhorrent and particularly upsetting as Sara Payne is [a] dear friend." She said the phone was provided "for the benefit of the campaign for Sarah's Law," and that "it was not a personal gift." Brooks said the idea that anyone at the paper knew that Payne was targeted by Mulcaire is "unthinkable" and that "the idea of her being targeted is beyond my comprehension."

Sara Payne 'May Have Been Targeted By NOTW' [Sky News]