A senior Sun reporter has been found guilty of handling the stolen mobile phone of Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh to spy on private texts about the Miliband brothers’ leadership battle.
Nick Parker, 53, was convicted along with college student Michael Ankers, who tried to sell the contents of the BlackBerry to the tabloid newspaper and was found guilty of theft.
The court heard that Parker was so eager for a scoop that he agreed a holding contract of £10,000 to see the texts.
But he abandoned the story after failing to find any evidence of “criminality” in relation to a text about bribery, the court heard.
The jury deliberated for nearly 20 hours before reaching unanimous verdicts at the Old Bailey.
The journalist was cleared of the more serious offence of aiding and abetting Surrey Police officer Alan Tierney to commit misconduct in a public office.
Tierney, who has admitted the offence, contacted him with a follow-up tip about footballer John Terry’s mother and mother-in-law being cautioned for shoplifting and a story about Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood allegedly assaulting his girlfriend.