A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD article from the South Wales Argus on how voicemails could be hacked was yesterday read out as evidence in the Leveson press ethics inquiry.

Since November, celebrities, journalists and members of the public have spoken out at the inquiry – called after the phone hacking scandal broke this summer.

Yesterday it was the turn of Steven Nott, a salesman from Cwmbran who says he tried to warn authorities about the possibilities of phone hacking in 1999.

Mr Nott contacted the Argus which ran a story on October 13 of that year, saying that he had found that anyone was able to access his Vodafone answer phone service and listen to his private messages.

The Argus put his claims to the test and, by following his instructions with the subscriber’s permission, was able to access a Vodafone user’s voicemail to prove his claims. Mr Nott told the inquiry that around the same time he contacted a number of news organisations, including the Sun and the Mirror, that did not run the story. He said in his witness statement that he again contacted a number of newspapers after the phone hacking story returned in July 2010 but said none were interested, although the BBC and Daily Mail websites ran stories this year.