Phone-hacking trial: Jury starts deliberations

Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks Image copyright PA
Image caption The jury will consider charges against seven defendants, including Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks

The jury in the phone-hacking trial at the Old Bailey has retired to consider its verdicts.

Mr Justice Saunders finished summing up the evidence heard in the trial - which started in October last year - and sent the jury out to begin deliberations.

Seven people are on trial in connection with alleged phone hacking at the News of the World, including former editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks.

All the defendants deny all the allegations against them.

The 11 jurors have to consider six counts against seven defendants. The jury has listened to evidence for 130 days.

Before asking them to retire, Mr Justice Saunders told jurors it had been a "privilege to work with all of you".

He told them: "What you have to do is act according to your oath.

"You have to reach true verdicts according to the evidence. That evidence you have heard in court. Put out of your head anything you have heard outside court."

Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson along with retired former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner are accused of being part of the conspiracy to hack phones dating back to 2000 and spanning six years.

David Cameron's former communications chief, Mr Coulson, 46, is also accused of two counts of conspiring with the paper's former royal editor Clive Goodman, 56, to commit misconduct in a public office by paying police officers for two royal directories.

Mrs Brooks, 46, faces the same charge over allegedly signing off payments to a Sun journalist's military contact between 2004 and 2012.

She is also accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice along with her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, 50, by removing seven boxes from the company archive just days before she was arrested in 2011.

Mrs Brooks, along with her husband Charlie Brooks and News International's former head of security Mark Hanna, 51, is further charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice by hiding potential evidence from police in July 2011.