Mr Justice Coulson said telephone records belonging to West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady were obtained at the height of a dispute over the future use of the 2012 Olympic Stadium. Stadium dispute: Karren Brady's phone records are at centre of controversy And he said copies had found their way to a firm of accountants - PKF - engaged by Tottenham.
The judge outlined 'basic facts' at a hearing in London after Ms Brady began legal action in an attempt to 'obtain information' and the 'wrongdoers responsible'. 'At the height of the dispute about the use of the Olympic Stadium, Ms Brady's telephone records were unlawfully obtained by subterfuge,' said Mr Justice Coulson.
'PKF was engaged by Tottenham Hotspur to carry out an investigation that was in some way connected with the Olympic Stadium. 'PKF have, in the last few days, said they do have copies of the wrongfully obtained telephone records.'
The judge was told that Tottenham had been given copies of the records by PKF. But lawyers for Tottenham said no one at the club had the records prior to the start of legal proceedings. Mr Justice Coulson is due to hear more details about the case at a further High Court hearing in London next Wednesday.
Lawyers for PKF argued that today's hearing should have been held in private to prevent the 'risk of misreporting'. But the judge said the hearing would be in public. He said hearings could be held in private in 'wholly exceptional' circumstances and the arguments put forward by PKF came 'nowhere near' the necessary test.