Coulson to be sentenced for phone hacking

Disgraced Downing St spin doctor Andy Coulson will be reunited with former workmates from the News of the World (NotW) this week as they face up to two years in jail for their part in the phone-hacking plot.

Coulson to be sentenced for phone hacking

Coulson, 46, was found guilty last Tuesday of being involved in the conspiracy to hack the voicemails of a host of celebrities, royals, politicians, and members of the public in the hunt for stories at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid.

His former lover and colleague Rebekah Brooks was cleared of all charges on the 138th day of the marathon trial at the Old Bailey in which four more defendants were also found not guilty.

Coulson, a married father-of-three from Kent, will be joined in the dock by private detective Glenn Mulcaire and four journalists from the NotW.

Last year, the paper’s news editor Greg Miskiw, 64, from Leeds; chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, 52, and reporter James Weatherup, aged 58, from Essex, all admitted one general count of conspiring together and with others to illegally access voicemails between October 2000 and August 2006.

Mulcaire, 43, from Surrey, has admitted three counts of conspiring to phone hack plus a fourth count of hacking the voicemail of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler in 2002 — an act which led to the downfall of the NotW in 2011.

Reporter Dan Evans, 38, will also be sentenced for two counts of conspiring to hack phones.

Evans, of Kilburn, north London, has also pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office between 2008 and 2010 and perverting the course of justice.

The prosecution said because of the sheer scale of the hacking going on while Coulson was in charge at the NotW, he must have known about it and the jury agreed. He was appointed as Brooks’s deputy in 2000 and took over as editor in 2003 when she moved to The Sun. Coulson resigned his editorship in January 2007 after Mulcaire and royal editor Clive Goodman first admitted phone hacking but kept quiet about his own involvement.

The jury concluded they could not agree on two further counts against Coulson and Goodman of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office by paying a police officer for royal directories. They will learn on Monday whether the Crown Prosecution Service will seek a re-trial.

Sentences are expected to be handed down by Mr Justice Saunders on Friday.

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