Nick Davies and Amelia Hill of the Guardian have just revealed that the News of the World hacked into the telephone of the then missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
Significantly, the newspaper is alleged to have deleted messages to ensure that the voicemail inbox was not filled up.
This was during an on-going police investigation into a disappearance. The deleted voicemails could have been evidence in respect of the crime, or information that could have assisted the police.
If these allegations are correct, then the current police investigation is now no longer just into breaches of the legislation relating to phone hacking.
This would now appear to be an inquiry into a perversion of the course of justice. The police and the courts do not take such offences lightly.
Not only has the “Hackgate” scandal gone onto a more sickeningly bad level, the seeming criminality is now also far more serious.
David Allen Green is legal correspondent of the New Statesman.