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Brooks husband 'hid porn to protect wife'

THE husband of former News International boss Rebekah Brooks hid his stash of pornography because he did not want police leaking embarrassing details of the "smut" to the press, the phone hacking trial has heard.

Racehorse trainer and writer Charlie Brooks said he didn't want a "Jacqui Smith moment" - where the former Labour Home Secretary became embroiled in a row after it emerged her husband submitted an expenses claim for watching pornography.

Mr Brooks, his wife Rebekah and head of security Mark Hanna deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice as the phone hacking investigation resulted in the closure of the News of the World.

He told the Old Bailey he "incredibly stupidly" decided to hide a bag containing explicit DVDs and a case with his Sony laptop in.

Continuing with his evidence from the witness stand, Mr Brooks said he had hidden the cargo behind the bins of an underground car park at the couple's flat in Thames Quay, west London.

Asked by his counsel Neil Saunders why, the witness said: "The DVDs are of an embarrassing nature. On the Sony Vaio, the main reason was it (the laptop) had some important book ideas that weren't backed up anywhere else, but it also had a bit of smut on it.

"I did think about my DVDs and I had my Jacqui Smith moment - a Home Secretary who was implicated by her husband's porn.

"I didn't want the same thing to happen to Rebekah."

Her husband went back to retrieve the bags later but they had gone, having been picked up by a caretaker and handed to police when the bins were emptied.

The court heard of one text from Mrs Brooks in which she asked Mr Brooks to contact News Corp chairman James Murdoch and inform him of her custody status, following her resignation from News International hours earlier.

The text from the tabloid editor to her husband on the morning of July 17 2011 read: "Police going to arrest me to make a PR (public relations) point before the Select Committee appearance."

The trial continues.

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