* Mother of second murdered schoolgirl "on phone-hack list"
* Murdoch newspaper supplied mother with phone for 11 years
* Former head of Murdoch's UK papers says claims "abhorrent"
(adds News International statement and public inquiry details)
By Peter Griffiths
LONDON, July 28 The mother of a murdered British
schoolgirl was targeted by a private investigator working for
Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, her charity said on
Thursday, reigniting a phone-hacking scandal that has shaken his
global media empire.
The Phoenix Foundation, a children's charity that Sara Payne
co-founded after her daughter was killed by a paedophile in
2000, said her details were found in notes kept by investigator
Glenn Mulcaire, employed by the top-selling tabloid.
Sara Payne's daughter Sarah was abducted and murdered by a
paedophile in a high-profile case that the now defunct tabloid
used as the basis for a campaign to change the law to allow
parents find out where sex offenders live.
"Sara is absolutely devastated by this news, we are all
deeply disappointed and are just working to get her through it,"
the charity said in a statement.
Rebekah Brooks, the paper's editor at the time of the murder
and a former head of Murdoch's UK newspaper unit, said the paper
had supplied the girl's mother with a mobile phone for 11 years,
but denied any knowledge of hacking.
"News International takes this matter very seriously and is
deeply concerned like everyone," a News International
spokeswoman said in an email statement.
"As the facts are established, the Company and the
independent Management and Standards Committee will take all
appropriate actions, including cooperating fully with any
potential criminal enquiries or civil proceedings which may
arise," she said.
Allegations earlier this month that the newspaper conspired
to hack the phone of another murdered schoolgirl, Milly Dowler,
caused a public outcry and dramatically escalated the
long-running hacking inquiry.
The public inquiry, led by Lord Justice Brian Leveson, urged
people on Thursday not to close ranks and called for journalists
to help in his investigation, as he set out its broad outlines.
The scandal has been an embarrassment for Prime Minister
David Cameron and has raised questions over his judgment after
he hired former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his
media chief six months after he resigned from the paper over the
hacking of phones belonging to the royal family. Coulson left
Cameron's Downing Street office in January.
Two of Britain's most senior policemen quit this month after
criticism that they failed to investigate the case properly and
that they were too close to Murdoch's senior staff.
Brooks said the tabloid had supplied Sara Payne with a
mobile phone to help her with her "Sarah's Law" campaign, which
sought reforms to allow parents to discover whether convicted
paedophiles were living in their area.
However, Brooks added that it was "beyond my comprehension"
that anyone at the paper knew Mulcaire may have tried to target
Sara Payne's messages in the hunt for exclusive stories.
"These allegations are abhorrent and particularly upsetting
as Sara Payne is a dear friend," Brooks said in a statement. "It
is imperative for Sara and the other victims of crime that these
allegations are investigated and those culpable brought to
Sara Payne wrote a farewell column for the paper's final
edition on July 10, referring to its staff as "my good and
Murdoch's News Corp has been rocked by weeks of
allegations of wrongdoing at his British newspapers. Despite the
furore, his son James Murdoch received the backing of the board
of British satellite broadcaster BSkyB to stay on as
News Corp closed the 168-year-old News of the World after
the Milly Dowler hacking claims emerged. Murdoch met her family
to apologise and told Britain's parliament that he was
"absolutely shocked, appalled and ashamed" when he heard the
Asked about the Payne allegations, Mark Lewis, lawyer for
the Dowler family, told Sky News: "Nothing is surprising.
Stories seemed to be more important than the grief people were
Former interior minister Jacqui Smith said the claims must
"If this is true, it is a very great betrayal of her by
people who had worked alongside her to try to improve the safety
of children in this country," she told BBC television.
Lawmaker Tom Watson, a member of parliament's media
committee, said it was "a new low".
There was no immediate comment from Scotland Yard.
(Reporting by Stephen Addison and Peter Griffiths; Editing by