Sunderland ex-News of the World journalist Neville Thurlbeck in court over phone-hacking

Ex-chief reporter of the News of the World, Neville Thurlbeck arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London where he is charged with phone hacking.

Ex-chief reporter of the News of the World, Neville Thurlbeck arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London where he is charged with phone hacking.

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A SUNDERLAND-born journalist was among seven people who have appeared in court over alleged phone hacking.

Six former members of staff from the now-defunct tabloid the News of the World (NoTW), and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were at Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck appeared in the dock along with ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, former reporter James Weatherup, Mulcaire and the Prime Minister’s ex-spin doctor Andy Coulson.

The six face one general charge of alleged phone hacking between October 2000 and August 2006, that prosecutors claim could affect as many as 600 victims, along with other specific accusations.

They and Mulcaire spoke only to confirm their names and addresses during the short hearing and are next due to appear at Southwark Crown Court on September 26.

They appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Daphne Wickham yesterday.

Thurlbeck, 50, from Esher, Surrey, is accused over access the phone messages of people including murder victim Milly Dowler, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

The seven defendants were released on bail on the condition that they live at given addresses, do not contact their fellow accused and give the police seven days’ notice should they wish to travel abroad.

The CPS announced last month that the seven would be charged, as well as former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, who is due to appear at the same court on September 3.