R v Coulson, Brooks and others

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R v Brooks, Coulson and six others
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Court Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey)
Court membership
Judge(s) sitting Mr. Justice Saunders[1]

R v Coulson, Brooks and others was a trial at the Old Bailey in London, England, arising from the News International phone hacking scandal.[2]

At the start, Glenn Mulcaire, Neville Thurlbeck, James Weatherup and Greg Miskiw all pleaded guilty to various charges.

The accused who pleaded not guilty and went to trial were Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson, Charlie Brooks, Clive Goodman, Ian Edmondson, Stuart Kuttner, Cheryl Carter and Mark Hanna.[2][3]

The trial began on 28 October 2013.[3]

At the start of the trial, the court was told by counsel for the crown, Andrew Edis QC, that Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson had an affair over a period lasting at least six years from 1998 to 2004, the period when much of the alleged conspiracy is claimed to have taken place.[4]

On 12 December 2013, the judge announced that Ian Edmondson was ill and unlikely to recover for several weeks, so the trial would proceed without dealing with the charges against him, they would be dealt with at a later trial.[5]

On 24 June 2014 the jury found Coulson guilty of one charge of conspiracy to hack phones; it failed to agree a verdict on two other charges of conspiring to cause misconduct in public office in relation to the alleged purchase of confidential royal phone directories in 2005 from a palace police officer. Brooks and five other defendants were found not guilty.[6] Prime Minister David Cameron was criticised in court by the trial judge for public remarks he made in response to the guilty verdict while the jury was still considering the outstanding charges against Coulson and Goodman.[7]

On June 30 2014 the trial judge, Mr Justice Saunders, announced that Coulson and the News of the World’s former royal editor, Clive Goodman, would face a retrial on the outstanding charges. [8]

On July 4 2014, Coulson was one of four ex-journalists at the News of the World to be sentenced, along with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. The sentences were: Coulson - 18 months, former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and news editor Greg Miskiw - six months each, former reporter James Weatherup - four-month suspended sentence, former private investigator Glenn Mulcaire - six-month suspended sentence. Weatherup and Mulcaire also received 200 hours of community service.[9]

A court hearing in July 2014 established that Ian Edmondson was fit to continue. On 3 October 2014, Edmondson changed his plea to guilty, becoming the eighth person to be convicted of phone hacking at the now-defunct News of the World. He admitted conspiring with colleagues and private detective Glenn Mulcaire to intercept private voicemails between October 3, 2000 and August 9, 2006. These included the voicemails of two home secretaries, Sir Paul McCartney and the actors Jude Law and Sienna Miller. The court heard that Edmondson tasked Mulcaire with hacking some 344 times.[10] On 7 November 2014, Mr Justice Saunders jailed Edmondson for eight months, saying that he only had himself to blame.[11]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Caroline Davies (31 October 2013). "Phone-hacking trial: who are the judge and lead prosecutor?". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Phone-hacking trial judge says British justice on trial". BBC News. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-08. The judge hearing the case of former News of the World journalists accused of phone hacking has said UK justice is on trial, as well as the defendants. 
  3. ^ a b Lisa O'Carroll. "Phone-hacking: trial of Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks to begin | UK news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-11-08. Brooks and seven other defendants including her racehorse trainer husband, Charlie, and David Cameron's former director of communications Andy Coulson will face a jury for the first time in the case, which has been scheduled to last until next Easter. 
  4. ^ "Brooks And Coulson In 'Secret Six-Year Affair'". Sky News. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-08. Mr Edis added: "Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson are charged with conspiracy and, when people are charged with conspiracy, the first question a jury has to answer is how well did they know each other? How much did they trust each other? "And the fact that they were in this relationship which was a secret means that they trusted each other quite a lot with at least that secret and that's why we are telling you about it." 
  5. ^ "Edmondson removal from trial at 'consensus of doctors' – ITV News". ITV News. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013. Former News of the World news editor Ian Edmondson is "currently unfit" to take part in a trial into phone hacking and has been removed under the instruction of doctors, a jury at the Old Bailey has heard. 
  6. ^ "Hacking trial: Coulson guilty, Brooks cleared of charges". BBC. 24 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Martin Evans & Matthew Holehouse (June 2014). “David Cameron criticised by phone hacking judge for 'open season' on Andy Coulson as jury fail to reach final verdicts”, Daily Telegraph, 25 June 2014. Accessed 30 June 2014
  8. ^ Lisa O’Carroll, (June 2014). “Andy Coulson to face retrial over alleged payments to public officials”, The Guardian, 30 June 2014, Accessed June 30 2014
  9. ^ BBC News online(July 2014) “Andy Coulson jailed for 18 months over phone hacking”, BBC News online, 4 July 2014. Accessed 4 July 2014
  10. ^ BBC News (October 2014). “Ex-NoW news editor Ian Edmondson admits phone hacking”, BBC News, 03 October 2014. Retrieved 03 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Ian Edmondson jailed over News of the World hacking plot". BBC News. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.