As it happened - Phone-hacking jury returns partial verdicts

Key Points

  • Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson found guilty of conspiring to hack phones with others between 2000 and 2006.
  • Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks cleared of all charges by jury at Old Bailey.
  • Prime Minister David Cameron makes "full and frank apology" for having hired Coulson as No 10 communications chief.
  • Brooks's husband Charlie and NI director of security Mark Hanna cleared of perverting the course of justice; former PA Cheryl Carter cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
  • Retired managing editor Stuart Kuttner cleared of conspiracy to hack phones.
  • Jury will return on Wednesday to continue to consider misconduct in public office charges against Coulson and ex-NoW royal editor Clive Goodman.
  1.  
    12:06:

    Welcome to the live page for breaking news on the phone-hacking trial. Partial verdicts have been returned by the jury of eight women and three men at the Old Bailey.

     
  2.  
    12:40:

    Former editor of the News of the World and the prime minister's former communications chief, Andy Coulson, has been found guilty of plotting to hack phones.

     
  3.  
    12:40:

    BBC political correspondent Robin Brant was in court as the verdicts were read out on the 138th day of the trial and watched the defendants' reactions at the Old Bailey. He said Andy Coulson stood motionless and showed "absolutely no emotion" as the verdict was returned.

     
  4.  
    12:44:

    Rebekah Brooks - the former editor of the News of the World - has been found not guilty of:

    • One count of interception of communications - often referred to as phone hacking - between 3 October 2000 and 9 August 2006
    • One count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office - involving corrupt payments - between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2012
    • One count of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice between 6 July 2011 and 6 July 2011
    • And a final count of perverting the course of justice
     
  5.  
    12:47: Robin Brant BBC home affairs correspondent

    said Rebekah Brooks appeared to mouth "thank you" to the jury and also held the hand of her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, who looked close to tears. Charlie Brooks, the husband of the former News International chief executive, also showed "virtually no emotion".

     
  6.  
    12:48:

    The two outstanding charges against Andy Coulson allege conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. The jury is yet to give its verdicts on these.

     
  7.  
    12:48:

    Charlie and Rebekah Brooks have just left the Old Bailey. They were driven away from the court in a black cab, surrounded by photographers and film crews.

     
  8.  
    Nick Robinson Political editor

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson tweets: "Standby for Cameron apology: 'If I have been lied to, that would be the moment for profound apology' July 2011."

     
  9.  
    12:51:

    There were shouts from photographers as Mr and Mrs Brooks left the court for the final time, at the end of a trial that started last October.

     
  10.  
    12:56: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News

    "Word from Downing Street is that Mr Cameron stands by comments in July 2011 when he said he took full responsibility for employing Andy Coulson.

    "It may be some time before we actually get the apology because Downing Street is thought to be waiting until the other verdicts are given."

     
  11.  
    12:56: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News

    "There will be questions about David Cameron's judgement not only about hiring Coulson but also not listening to people's concerns and hanging on to Coulson for so long."

     
  12.  
    12:57:
    Rebekah Brooks leaves the Old Bailey on 24 June 2014

    Members of the media tried to catch a glimpse of Mr and Mrs Brooks as they prepared to be driven away in a cab.

     
  13.  
    12:58:
    Stuart Kuttner

    Stuart Kuttner held a number of senior roles at the News of the World before retiring in 2009. He was the newspaper's managing editor for 22 years and had been its deputy editor prior to that.

    Today Mr Kuttner was found not guilty of one count of interception of communications.

     
  14.  
    12:59:
    Media surround Charlie and Rebekah Brooks' cab

    The Brooks's taxi can barely be seen through the crowd of photographers and film crews.

     
  15.  
    13:02:
    Rebekah and Charlie Brooks

    Charlie Brooks - the husband of Rebekah - has been found not guilty of one count of perverting the course of justice. He was accused of concealing documents, computers, and other electronic equipment from the Metropolitan Police.

    In court he admitted that some of these documents were pornography.

     
  16.  
    13:04: Robin Brant political correspondent, BBC News

    says that despite there being some 70 people in Court 12, there was complete silence at the time of the verdicts.

     
  17.  
    13:08:

    No verdicts have been returned for the former royal editor of the News of the World, Clive Goodman. He is accused of two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, between 31 August 2002 and 31 January 2003, and between 31 January 2005 and 3 June 2005.

     
  18.  
    13:10:
    Andy Coulson pictured on 18 June 2014

    Coulson, pictured earlier this month, was mentioned during Treasury questions in the Commons after the news of his conviction broke. The BBC's political correspondent Vicki Young said shadow chancellor Ed Balls accused the prime minister of a "terrible error of judgement" for employing him.

     
  19.  
    13:13:

    Mr Balls accused George Osborne of bringing the office of chancellor into disrepute by having urged Mr Cameron to employ the former News of the World editor as his director of communications, our correspondent said. Mr Osborne told the Commons that if a statement from either himself or the prime minister was appropriate, then there would be one.

     
  20.  
    13:14:
    Rebekah and Charlie Brooks

    Rebekah and Charlie Brooks left court hand in hand after being cleared of the charges against them.

     
  21.  
    13:15: Tom Symonds home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    News UK have released a brief statement in the last half hour saying: "We have made changes in the way we do business."

     
  22.  
    13:18: Tom Symonds home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    Rebekah Brooks left the court a short while ago. The judge had told her not to say anything to the large group of reporters here, suggesting: "You will have enough to celebrate as it is."

     
  23.  
    Jeremy Clarkson friend of Rebekah Brooks

    tweets: "I am beyond ecstatic."

     
  24.  
    Piers Morgan former Daily Mirror editor

    tweets: "So happy for my friends Rebekah and Charlie, so sad for my friend Andy. A good man, who I will always support."

     
  25.  
    13:22:
    Mark Hanna

    Mark Hanna - head of security at News International for more than four years - was found not guilty of one count of perverting the course of justice.

     
  26.  
    13:24: Tom Symonds home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    This has been an eight-month, high-stakes trial. At stake the reputation and the liberty of two of Britain's most prominent people and some of those around them.

     
  27.  
    13:24: Tom Symonds home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    The verdict against Coulson "shows that at the News of the World, in his time, the hacking conspiracy went right to the top, to the editor's desk - to him".

     
  28.  
    13:27: Breaking News

    Prime Minister David Cameron gives "full and frank" apology for employing Andy Coulson at 10 Downing Street, saying: "It was the wrong decision and I am very clear about that."

     
  29.  
    Peter Hunt Royal correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: News UK say they've apologised for wrongdoing; paid compensation; cooperated with investigations; and changed the way they do business.

     
  30.  
    13:29:

    Speaking outside the court the News of the World's former managing editor of 22 years, Stuart Kuttner told reporters: "It is clear to me at this point that this is not the moment to make long statements or to go into great detail.

    "But what I do want to say is the diligence, the dedication, and perhaps above all the passion of my lawyers over the last three years has been extraordinary, most remarkable, and it is to them that I owe the huge and enduring thanks for the result, the unanimous verdict of the jury today. Thank you."

     
  31.  
    13:32:

    PM says he takes "full responsibility" for employing Andy Coulson. "I'm extremely sorry," he adds.

     
  32.  
    Louise Mensch former Conservative MP

    tweets: Coulson was the finest communications director the Tories had in the modern age. I don't believe him guilty, either.

     
  33.  
    13:36:
    Cheryl Carter

    Former editor Rebekah Brooks is said to have squeezed the hand of Cheryl Carter when the verdicts were read out in court. Ms Carter was Mrs Brooks's PA when she was editor of the News of the World. Ms Carter was found not guilty of one count of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

     
  34.  
    Tom Newton Dunn Political editor, the Sun

    tweets: Serious questions for the Crown Prosecution Service after Rebekah and Charlie Brooks, plus PA Cheryl Carter, cleared of all #hacking charges

     
  35.  
    Ben Bradshaw former culture secretary and Labour MP for Exeter

    tweets: Coulson verdict another damning indictment of Cameron's terrible, terrible judgement

     
  36.  
    13:44: Robin Brant political correspondent, BBC News

    A former senior Conservative Party press officer, who worked with Coulson during all his time as the party's director of communications, has told the BBC "there could've been more intense questioning" of Coulson before he was recruited in June 2007.

     
  37.  
    13:44:

    Charlotte Harris, a lawyer representing alleged victims of phone hacking by the News of the World, tells the BBC "there's a sense of closure" over the criminal trial - adding that "this has been an extremely long process".

     
  38.  
    13:44:

    Mr Cameron says he hired Coulson as No 10 head of communications in good faith. "I asked him and my chief of staff asked him whether he knew about phone hacking," the PM says. "We accepted his assurances - that was the basis on which I employed him... I gave him a job. It was a second chance. It turns out to be a bad decision and I'm extremely sorry about that."

     
  39.  
    13:45:

    The jury in the phone-hacking trial is still considering its verdicts on other charges against Coulson and former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman. Here is a summary of the verdicts delivered so far.

     
  40.  
    13:46:

    Dr Matthew Ashton, an expert in politics and the media at Nottingham Trent University, says: "The fact that Andy Coulson has been found guilty raises important questions about David Cameron's judgement in employing him. In particular, what warnings did he receive beforehand, and how rigorous was the vetting and interview process?

    "Regardless of the verdicts, this trial has raised important questions about the relationship between the political, economic and media elites in the UK. This verdict has important implications for Fleet Street."

     
  41.  
    13:48: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News,

    says: "The buck stops with the prime minister. He [David Cameron] has not tried to shuffle off blame."

     
  42.  
    13:51: Norman Smith chief political correspondent, BBC News

    says: "The prime minister has to hope that the nature of this apology will be sufficient to quell the inevitable questions not only about why he employed Andy Coulson but why he stuck with him despite the warnings."

     
  43.  
    13:51:
    David Cameron

    Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Andy Coulson as his director of communications in 2007, taking him into Downing Street after Mr Cameron became PM in 2010. Mr Cameron has now said: "I am extremely sorry I employed him. It was the wrong decision."

     
  44.  
    13:53: Brian Cathcart Hacked Off campaign group

    says Rupert Murdoch's UK newspapers should now abandon their plans - with other newspapers and magazines - to establish a new regulatory body, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), and sign up to the Royal Charter agreed by the three main political parties.

     
  45.  
    13:55: Brian Cathcart Hacked Off campaign group

    says: "For years the Murdoch press clung to the story that one rogue reporter was responsible for phone hacking. We now know this was a lie."

     
  46.  
    13:55:

    It has been confirmed that the jury unanimously cleared Rebekah Brooks of all four charges against her.

     
  47.  
    13:59:
    journalists

    News crews are gathered outside the Old Bailey, reporting on developments inside the court and even using a dry marker board as verdicts were returned.

     
  48.  
    14:02:

    PM David Cameron has said he is "extremely sorry" that he employed Andy Coulson as his director of communications. You can watch his "full and frank" apology here.

     
  49.  
    14:15:

    Former home secretary David Blunkett - whose private life was written about in the News of the World - tells the BBC this is about "criminality and obtaining justice".

     
  50.  
    14:15:

    Former home secretary David Blunkett tells the BBC how revelations about his private life in the News of the World almost caused him a nervous breakdown. You can watch an interview with him here.

     
  51.  
    Tim Montgomerie Times columnist and former editor of ConservativeHome website

    tweets: I enjoyed working with Andy Coulson. He was an effective Head of Comms for the Tories. Am sad for him & his family. But justice must be done

     
  52.  
    14:17:

    Jury has begun deliberating again after lunch on the two remaining charges against Coulson. Coulson remains inside the court.

     
  53.  
    14:18: Ed Miliband Labour leader

    says the government has been tainted by today's conviction of Andy Coulson. He accuses the PM of "turning a blind eye" to the accusations surrounding his former director of communications.

    Mr Miliband says Mr Cameron "owes the country an explanation", adding: "David Cameron brought a criminal into the heart of Downing St."

     
  54.  
    14:21: Norman Smith chief political correspondent, BBC News,

    says to get a personal apology like the one given by David Cameron over Coulson is "very rare".

    Our correspondent says it was "a fulsome apology, a humble Mr Cameron, but there remains questions" as to how much he pressed Mr Coulson about phone hacking.

     
  55.  
    Nadine Dorries Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire

    tweets: "Proud of the way the boss [David Cameron] said he was sorry. Simple, sincere and a lesson to others. The entire country is still waiting Gordon Brown et al."

     
  56.  
    14:28:

    Chancellor George Osborne echoes sentiments of Mr Cameron, saying: "I too am very sorry for the decision we made to employ Andy Coulson.

    "He gave us assurances that turned out not to be the case. We gave him a second chance but, knowing what we now know, it's clear that we made the wrong decision.

    "It's important for the victims of phone hacking that this has now been properly dealt with by the courts; and it matters for us all that we have a free and vibrant press which operates within the law."

     
  57.  
    14:28:

    News UK has released a statement saying they admitted "long ago, and repeat today, that wrongdoing occurred, and we apologised for it".

    It adds that the company has made changes in the way they do business, including changing their name from News International, to "help ensure wrongdoing like this does not occur again".

     
  58.  
    14:32:

    Charlotte Harris, a lawyer representing alleged victims of phone hacking, says "a big clean up job did need to be had".

    "There have been some very serious crimes against the general public," she tells BBC News.

     
  59.  
    Robin Brant political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets a picture of the Evening Standard's front page which leads on Rebekah Brooks being cleared of all charges.

     
  60.  
    Ed Miliband Labour leader

    tweets: "My thoughts today are most importantly with the victims of phone hacking who suffered terrible intrusion into their privacy."

     
  61.  
    14:55: Bob Satchwell executive director, the Society of Editors

    says: "The only good to come out of all of this is that the press will now have a new, more powerful complaints and regulatory system - the Independent Press Standards Organisation - with powers to investigate and fine newspapers if necessary. I trust that the public will put all of this behind them now and appreciate that the press in this country remains the best in the world."

     
  62.  
    14:55:

    Author Stuart Purvis, who wrote a book called When Reporters Cross the Line, told the BBC that today's outcome was important because it proved criminality went on at the paper.

     
  63.  
    15:05:

    The judge Mr Justice Saunders has urged restraint to anyone planning to comment on the case until all verdicts have been returned.

     
  64.  
    15:08:

    The jury is continuing to consider misconduct in public office charges against Coulson and former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman.

     
  65.  
    15:12:

    Coulson was seen as a huge catch when he was first hired to be David Cameron's spin doctor and the PM now faces serious questions about his judgement, the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson says in his latest blog.

     
  66.  
    15:18:
    The former headquarters of News International in Wapping, London - 4 June 2014

    This week's culmination of the eight-month phone hacking trial comes as the News of the World's former headquarters in Wapping is being knocked down. The site, which was known as the "Wapping Fortress," was sold to a property developer by News International after its newspapers moved out in 2011.

     
  67.  
    15:20: Robin Brant political correspondent, BBC News

    says there will now be widespread speculation about Rebekah Brooks' future, and whether she would return to journalism. "What next for Rebekah Brooks? She's only 46," he says.

     
  68.  
    15:23:
    Milly Dowler

    The News of the World was closed in 2011 following revelations it had instructed a private investigator to intercept - or "hack" - voicemails left on the mobile phone of murdered Surrey teenager Milly Dowler in 2002.

     
  69.  
    15:28:

    Mayor of London Boris Johnson says he is glad "justice has taken its course" and "pleased for Rebekah and Charlie Brooks that they have both been acquitted".

     
  70.  
    15:31:

    Mr Johnson brands phone hacking a "disgraceful method of journalism" and calls for culprits to "pay a heavy price for their behaviour".

     
  71.  
    15:34:
    David Blunkett

    Earlier former home secretary David Blunkett told the BBC the revelations about his private life in the News of the World almost caused him a nervous breakdown.

     
  72.  
    15:45:

    For those just joining us, here's a reminder of the verdicts. Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has been found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones in the phone-hacking trial. Ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has been cleared of all charges.

     
  73.  
    15:48:

    Former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner has been found not guilty of conspiring to hack voicemails. And Cheryl Carter, Charlie Brooks and News International's former head of security Mark Hanna have been cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

     
  74.  
    15:52:
    Media crews outside the Old Bailey

    Media crews still remain outside the Old Bailey while the jury continues to consider misconduct in public office charges against Coulson and former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman.

     
  75.  
    16:03: Robin Brant political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Analysis of most recent Newscorp public figs shows #hacking had cost @rupertmurdoch firm £535m so far in civil claims, lost revenue etc

     
  76.  
    16:06: Robin Brant political correspondent, BBC News

    adds that the latest figures show that News International, the parent company of the News of the World, has so far settled 718 separate civil claims.

     
  77.  
    16:14: Robin Brant political correspondent, BBC News

    also says News International, which paid for the defence of six of the seven defendants, has not revealed its figures for legal costs.

     
  78.  
    16:20: Robin Brant political correspondent, BBC News

    hadds that the court administration costs from the 138-day trial at Old Bailey are estimated at £7,000 ($12,000) per day.

     
  79.  
    16:22:

    Peter Jukes, a journalist covering the trial, tweets: "Jury have a question for the Judge on Counts 2 and 3 against [Clive] Goodman and [Andy] Coulson."

    The jury is still considering misconduct in public office charges against Coulson and former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman.

     
  80.  
    16:30:

    "The News of the World wasn't an ordinary newspaper when Andy Coulson was its editor. It had another team you didn't find in your average tabloid newsroom. Alongside the news reporters and feature writers, there was a department of criminality - a conspiracy at the heart of his newspaper to get the story at any cost," writes the BBC's Home Affairs Editor in his latest blog.

     
  81.  
    16:32:

    The jury's question about interpreting the law has been answered by the judge and they have left the court to continue deliberating.

     
  82.  

    Fiona Hamilton, a journalist at The Times, tweets: "Judge has asked #hacking jury to continue deliberating for longer than usual. They've gone back to consider."

     
  83.  
    16:45:

    Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News reports that Jeremy Clarkson was one of Rebekah Brooks' first visitors after she returned home from court today. The Top Gear presenter is friends with Ms Brooks and her husband Charlie and his tweet after the verdict said: "I am beyond ecstatic".

     
  84.  
    17:00:

    Need a reminder of how we got here? Watch our explainer: The Hacking trial explained in 90 seconds.

     
  85.  
    17:09:

    Meanwhile, the jury have been back in court to ask the judge another question. After giving them further legal advice, the judge told the jury he did not want their deliberation to become "an endurance test".

     
  86.  
    17:11:

    The BBC understands the jury may deliberate until about 18:30 BST.

     
  87.  
    17:17: Clive Coleman Legal correspondent, BBC News

    says one of the big questions that the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will face after today's verdicts will focus on the original prosecution of Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator found guilty of illegally intercepting phone messages, back in 2006.

    That case, says Clive, was based on a huge cache of evidence so many people will want to know why that prosecution was so limited now that we know there was a widespread criminal conspiracy at a very high level.

     
  88.  
    17:20: Clive Coleman Legal correspondent, BBC News

    also raised the issue of whether there could be a corporate prosecution relating to New International, now rebranded as News UK, in the future.

    He says to prosecute a company in the UK there has to be someone who is deemed "a controlling mind" in the organisation that was responsible for the criminality.

    The question for the CPS now is whether Andy Coulson, as editor of the News of the World, was sufficiently powerful enough at News International to be deemed "a controlling mind".

     
  89.  

    Times correspondent Fiona Hamilton tweets: "Still here. #hacking. Jury have been asked to consider whether there is realistic prospect of reaching verdicts if they come back tomorrow."

     
  90.  
    17:35:

    From tabloid heyday to "witch-hunt" - the BBC's Gaetan Portal tracks the hacking trial.

     
  91.  
    17:39:
    British actress Sienna Miller arrives at the Leveson Inquiry - 24 November 2011

    Actress Sienna Miller, who gave evidence during the Leveson Inquiry, says she feels "like justice is being done".

    She told ITV News the hacking of her phone had been "really damaging" and had made her "incredibly angry".

     
  92.  

    Times columnist Tim Montgomerie, tweets: "I enjoyed working with Andy Coulson. He was an effective Head of Comms for the Tories. Am sad for him & his family. But justice must be done"

     
  93.  
    17:47:

    The jury in the phone-hacking trial have been sent home for the day.

     
  94.  
    17:52: Robin Brant political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: No verdicts today on remaining counts against Coulson & Goodman. #hacking jury sent home to return tmrw at 11 to continue deliberations.

     
  95.  
    17:55: Robin Brant political correspondent, BBC News

    adds: Judge has previously told #hacking jury they can return 10-1 majority verdict, but no less.

     
  96.  
    17:57: Peter Hunt Royal correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Judge to jury on media coverage: "Ignore every word. If you can avoid watching it - all the better. You must decide this on the evidence alone."

     
  97.  
    17:58:

    Here's a reminder of the verdicts the jury have returned today:

    • Andy Coulson was found guilty of a charge of conspiracy to intercept voicemails
    • Mrs Brooks was found not guilty of conspiracy to hack voicemails, two counts of conspiracy to pay public officials and two counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
    • Former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner was found not guilty of conspiring to hack voicemails
    • Cheryl Carter, Charlie Brooks and News International's former head of security Mark Hanna were cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
     
  98.  
    18:00:

    The jury will continue considering charges of misconduct in public office against Coulson and former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman on Wednesday. That is the end of our live coverage today.

     

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