Steven Nott at Leveson

Steven Nott told the inquiry how he tried to expose how easy it was to access voicemails as far back as 1999

A delivery driver today told the Leveson inquiry how more than 10 years ago he discovered the ease with which voicemail messages could be accessed but claims he was "fobbed off" when he tried to raise awareness of the issue.

In evidence given to the inquiry, based on his witness statement published online today, Steven Nott, who was a salesman at the time, said in 1999 he was given the default security number to access messages on his own phone by Vodafone after having problems accessing them while on the road.

Realising anyone could do the same he says he made many attempts to ring Vodafone to try to get them to change their system, but that at the time he felt "fobbed off".

He told the inquiry that he proceeded to contact a number of news outlets, starting with the Daily Mirror, in an attempt to expose the risks to phone owners.

According to Nott the journalist he spoke to returned his call and appeared interested in the story. He also told the inquiry that the journalist told him they had tested it for themselves but after some time said the newspaper was no longer interested, although paid him £100 for the story.

He said he went on to contact a journalist at the Sun about the issue but again the story was not published. Nott confirmed to the inquiry that he has since been told by the Sun journalist that he "didn't see why it wasn't published" and that the journalist was not asked to demonstrate the method to anyone.

Nott went on to confirm that he also tried to contact a number of bodies (including New Scotland Yard, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Home Office and HM Customs and Excise) to raise his concerns, but did not receive any response.

He added that he did, however, appear on BBC Radio 5 Live on 22 October 1999, where he was able to discuss the issue with a Vodafone representative, and prior to the BBC's coverage the story was also reported on by the South Wales Argus on 13 October 1999.

News International and Trinity Mirror declined to comment.

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