Daniel Sanderson

Former NoW reporter Daniel Sanderson told the inquiry he believed the Portuguese police were the source of the McCann diary

The News of the World (NoW) reporter who worked on a story which saw extracts of Kate McCann's private diaries published by the tabloid has told the Leveson inquiry he believed the newspaper had permission from the McCanns to publish the story, echoing the testimony of former editor Colin Myler.

Last month Kate McCan, mother of missing child Madeleine McCann, told the inquiry the publication of her diary left her feeling "totally violated" and was done "without my knowledge".

Today Sanderson said his "understanding was if they didn't give the green light the story wouldn't be published".

Extracts from the diary were published by the newspaper in 2008 - the year after Madeleine McCann went missing from a holiday home in Portugal - causing the McCann family to lodge a complaint which was settled by a donation to the fund set up to find their daughter.

Former NoW reporter Daniel Sanderson told the court today that he believed Ian Edmondson, the paper's news editor, told him permission would be sought.

"I was told at the time that we would not be publishing the diary unless we had the express permission from the McCanns."

Sanderson, who told the inquiry he was a junior reporter at the time, said when the diary arrived in the newspaper's office he felt the source was likely to be the Portuguese police.

Counsel for the inquiry Robert Jay QC asked Sanderson: "Mr Edmondson shows you a copy of the diary, all in Portuguese. Was there anything about the diary to speculate as to it's source?

"Thinking back it had obviously been translated from English to Portuguese," Sanderson responded. "I suppose it must have come from the Portuguese police. From memory … I believe there were comments in the margins. There were notes and comments and it look like some kind of official document."

Asked if it caused him concerns, Sanderson said "the whole thing caused me concerns", adding that he intended to apologise personally to the McCanns for "my involvement in the story".

Sanderson arranged for the diary to be translated back into English, which was delivered in sections. He then cross-checked against online copies of the diary, which were already "in the public domain circulating in Portugal".

The diary was published with a front page introduction from Sanderson and extracts from the diary in the newspaper.

Jay put it to Sanderson that his "story was somewhat mutilated".

"It was changed," Sanderson confirmed.

Asked to give details on the culture at the newspaper he said: "It was a high pressure environment to work in. In order to work at the News of the World you have to give a certain part of your life over to it.

"It's very, very hard work. The phone is constantly on. You can be called evenings, weekends and there's no point making any plans with friends. If you do they are likely to be cancelled because the news editor wants you to go on a job."

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