DCSIMG

Sunderland-born journalist jailed in hacking case

Former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck  arriving at the Old Bailey in London where he jailed for six months after he admitted one general count of conspiring together and with others to illegally access voicemails between October 2000 and August 2006.PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 4, 2014. See PA story COURTS Hacking. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck arriving at the Old Bailey in London where he jailed for six months after he admitted one general count of conspiring together and with others to illegally access voicemails between October 2000 and August 2006.PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 4, 2014. See PA story COURTS Hacking. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

 

SUNDERLAND-born journalist Neville Thurlbeck has been jailed for six months.

His former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was jailed for 18 months for conspiracy to hack phones.

The 46-year-old, who went on to become director of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron, was found guilty at the Old Bailey last week.

Ex chief reporter Thurlbeck, 50, now of Esher Surrey, and Coulson, were joined in the dock by ex-news editor Greg Miskiw, 64, and former news editor James Weatherup.

Private detective Glenn Mulcaire was also at the Old Bailey to be sentenced.

Coulson was found guilty last week of conspiring to intercept voicemails at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid following an eight-month trial at the Old Bailey.

Judge Mr Justice Saunders told the defendants: “I do not accept ignorance of the law provides any mitigation.

“The laws of protection are given to the rich, famous and powerful as to all.”

The judge said Coulson clearly thought it was necessary to use phone hacking to maintain the newspaper’s “competitive edge”.

And he said the delay in the News of the World telling police about the Milly Dowler voicemail in 2002 showed the motivation was to “take credit for finding her” and sell the maximum number of newspapers.

The judge said: “Mr Coulson has to take the major shame for the blame of phone hacking at the NotW. He knew about it, he encouraged it when he should have stopped it.”

There was no reaction from Coulson as he was jailed by the judge.

Miskiw, Thurlbeck, and Weatherup, all admitted one general count of conspiring together and with others to illegally access voicemails between October 2000 and August 2006.

Miskiw was also jailed for six months.

Weatherup was jailed for four months, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid community work.

While Mulcaire was jailed for six months, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid community work.

According to Mulcaire’s notes, Miskiw tasked him 1,500 times, Thurlbeck 261 times and Weatherup 157 times, the court heard.

Mr Justice Saunders told them: “All the defendants that I have to sentence, save for Mr Mulcaire, are distinguished journalists who had no need to behave as they did to be successful.

“They all achieved a great deal without resorting to the unlawful invasion of other people’s privacy. Those achievements will now count for nothing.

“I accept that their reputations and their careers are irreparably damaged.”

Weatherup and Mulcaire both declined to comment as they left the courtroom.

The judge said: “Mr Coulson has to take the major shame for the blame of phone hacking at the NotW. He knew about it, he encouraged it when he should have stopped it.”

 
 
 

Back to the top of the page