SAME TACTIC, DIFFERENT VICTIMS

Freddie Shepherd and Douglas Hall, April 1998

The Newcastle United directors called northern women "dogs" and their GBP15m signing, Alan Shearer, "Mary Poppins", and bragged about brothels and prostitutes. They resigned only to be reinstated by the club.

Johnnie Walker, April 1999

The Radio 2 DJ was filmed cutting cocaine at the Grosvenor House hotel and offering to hire prostitutes for the fake sheikh. He was fined GBP2,000 after pleading guilty to drug possession.

Countess of Wessex, April 2001

Prince Edward's wife met the fake sheikh over a business lunch at Dorchester. Indiscretions included calling William Hague "deformed", Cherie Blair "horrid" and Gordon Brown's budget "a load of pap". The incident led the countess to quit her high-flying PR job.

Diane Abbott MP, May 2004

Mahmood posed as a member of a Kashmiri terror group and was invited to the Commons by Abbott. He tried to lure her to Dubai and offered a donation to aid his cause; Abbott refused both.

Carole Caplin, June 2005

Cherie Blair's former style guru told Mahmood, posing as a potential client, that "Tony's in dire straits", calling him "overweight" and suggesting he drank too much. She also criticised Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith and called Gillian McKeith "ugly as ....".

Princess Michael of Kent, September 2005

Mahmood posed as a property buyer to lure the princess, who suggested that Prince Charles had only married Diana as "a womb ... somebody to give him children". She also defended Prince Harry's choice of Nazi fancy dress. "He will never live it down,'' she said.

"But I believe if he had been wearing the hammer and sickle there wouldn't have been so much fuss made. And yet what does a hammer and sickle stand for? Russia, Stalin." — Katy Heslop

@ Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006