UK

Ian Edmondson jailed over News of the World hacking plot

Ian Edmondson Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Edmondson was tried at the Old Bailey in central London

Former News of the World news editor Ian Edmondson has been jailed for eight months for his role in phone hacking.

Edmondson, 45, admitted his part in the plot to hack phones last month, becoming the eighth person from the now-closed Sunday tabloid newspaper to be convicted.

The Old Bailey heard he lost his home, became depressed and was now dependent on alcohol because of the case.

Among those hacked were sports stars, celebrities, royalty and politicians.

Edmondson, a senior editorial figure at the News of the World between 2005 and 2010, admitted conspiring with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire to listen to victims' voicemail messages.

Sentencing him, Mr Justice Saunders said he only had himself to blame.

'Depression'

Edmondson had been in the dock at the beginning of the eight-month trial which saw his former boss Andy Coulson jailed for 18 months and former chief executive officer Rebekah Brooks cleared of any wrongdoing.

But after 29 days of evidence, he was excused attending court each day due to ill health.

Mr Justice Saunders said: "I am satisfied that he is suffering from depression as well as having other medical problems. Mr Edmondson was dismissed from his job at the News of the World and he has lost his reputation as a journalist."

The court heard that Edmondson tasked Mulcaire with hacking some 334 times.

Phone records show that there were 900 calls and texts between Mulcaire and Edmondson between July 2005 and August 2006 , demonstrating their "close working relationship", prosecutor Mark Bryant-Heron QC said.

Edmondson was suspended from the tabloid in 2010, when emails emerged implicating him in phone hacking, he was sacked in 2011.

The three emails, which were handed to the Metropolitan Police by News International, triggered the phone-hacking investigation, known as Operation Weeting.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Andy Coulson was found guilty of conspiring to hack phones while Rebekah Brooks was cleared of all charges

Mulcaire, who previously admitted to his role in plotting to intercept voicemails, was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, plus 200 hours unpaid community work.

He had already served a sentence in 2006 when he was first convicted of phone hacking with ex-royal editor Clive Goodman.