SUNDERLAND-BORN journalist Neville Thurlbeck has been jailed for six months for his part in the News of the World phone hacking scandal.
Ex-chief reporter Thurlbeck, 50, now of Esher, Surrey, was joined in the dock by former editor Andy Coulson, and ex-news editors Greg Miskiw and James Weatherup.
Private detective Glenn Mulcaire was also at the Old Bailey to be sentenced.
Coulson, 46, was jailed for 18 months for conspiracy to hack phones, after being found guilty last week of conspiring to intercept voicemails at the now defunct Sunday tabloid, after an eight-month trial.
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”.
He added 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 paper.
“He knew about it, he encouraged it when he should have stopped it.”
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 jailed for six months. Weatherup was jailed for four months, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 200 hours’ unpaid community work.
Mulcaire was jailed for six months, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 200 hours’ unpaid community work.
According to Mulcaire’s notes, Thurlbeck tasked him 261 times, the court heard