Andy Coulson, the former tabloid guilty who became the Prime Minister’s director of communications, was today found guilty at the Old Bailey of conspiring to hack phones while running the News of the World.
Delivering partial verdicts in the phone hacking trial, 11 jurors unanimously convicted Coulson of conspiracy to hack phones between 2000 and 2006 while in charge of the country’s best-selling Sunday newspaper.
They returned not guilty verdicts on Rebekah Brooks on counts of conspiracy to hack phones, conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, all the charges she faced.
Not guilty verdicts were also returned in conspiracy to pervert the course of justice charges against Mrs Brooks’ husband Charlie, her PA Cheryl Carter and News International’s head of security, Mark Hanna.
Stuart Kuttner, the News of the World’s former managing editor, was also unanimously found not guilty of conspiring to hack phones.
The jury was given permission to return the partial verdicts after passing a note to Mr Justice Saunders saying they had agreed unanimously on some verdicts but were deadlocked on others.
The jury are continuing to deliberate on two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office faced by Coulson and the News of the World’s former royal editor Clive Goodman, who was convicted of phone hacking offences in 2007.
Those charges relate to allegations that while editing the News of the World Coulson authorised Mr Goodman to make two payments to royal protection squad officers in return for confidential Buckingham Palace phone directories.
For a summary of the verdicts so far see:
“Phone Hacking Trial – The Verdicts” #pressform blog