The former Sunday Mirror and News of the World journalist Dan Evans was, today, sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment, suspended for one year. Mr Evans had pleaded guilty to two phone hacking offences, misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice by lying in a civil claim brought by Kelly Hoppen.
Mr Evans worked as a reporter at the Sunday Mirror from 2003 to 2005 and then at the News of the World from 2005 until 2011. He gave evidence for the prosecution at the recent phone hacking trial.
His evidence was that he was taught how to phone hack when working for the Sunday Mirror and was encouraged to use those skills to find stories by people who were senior to him at the Sunday Mirror and later at the News of the World. He also said that he was put under considerable pressure to come up with stories.
The sentencing remarks of the judge, Mr Justice Saunders, are available on the judiciary website [pdf]. The judge said:
“The undisputed evidence in the trial was that between 2004 and 2006, there was a great deal of phone hacking at the News of the World. While I have no doubt it wasn’t done openly, it must have been known about by more people than have been prepared to give evidence about it in court. Mr. Evans and Mr. Goodman are the only people who have been prepared to give evidence of their knowledge and involvement in phone hacking at the News of the World. Mr. Goodman made it clear in his evidence that he would not have given evidence about it but for his position as a Defendant in the trial“.
He noted that Mr Evans was entitled to a substantial reduction in sentence as a result of having entered an agreement under section 73 of the Serious and Organised Crime Act 2005 and had provided assistance to the prosecution.
In relation to sentence, the Judge said
“The appropriate sentences for the offences of phone hacking, counts 1 and 2 after a trial would have been 9 months imprisonment concurrent with each other. To reflect the plea and the s. 73 agreement I reduce those sentences to 4 months. The appropriate sentence after a trial for the offence of perverting the course of justice would be 9 months imprisonment which I again reduce to 4 months to reflect the plea and the s. 73 agreement. That will be consecutive to the sentences on count 1 and 2. Finally for the offence of misconduct in a public office the sentence after a trial would have been 6 months imprisonment which I reduce to 2 months“.
This gave a total of 10 months imprisonment. However, the Judge decided that:
“In the circumstances of this case and in particular the co‐operation that Mr. Evans has given and has agreed to give the police and the prosecution in the future, as compared with the lack of co‐operation from others, I do feel able to suspend the sentence for a period of 12 months. I would not have done that had Mr. Evans not made a clean breast of his involvement in these offences“
Dan Evans gave evidence at the phone hacking trial on Monday 27 January 2014, Tuesday 28 January 2014, Wednesday 29 January 2014, Thursday 30 January 2014, Friday 31 January 2014 and Monday 3 February 2014.
There have been a number of media reports on the sentencing of Dan Evans:
- “Phone hacking reporter Dan Evans spared jail“, BBC News.
- “Phone hacking journalist Dan Evans given suspended sentence“, Daily Telegraph.
- “Ex-NoW journalist Dan Evans gets suspended sentence over hacking“, Guardian.
- “Ex-NOTW Reporter Dan Evans Spared Jail“, Sky News