A former editor of one of the UK’s leading tabloids, who went on to become David Cameron’s chief spokesman, has been found guilty of hacking phones. The News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, was found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones on Tuesday after an eight-month trial, and now faces prison. His co-defendant, Rebekah Brooks, who edited both The Sun and News of the World before becoming a News International executive, was found not guilty. She was reportedly “overcome by emotion” upon hearing the verdicts and had to be helped from her seat by the court’s matron and her solicitor.
David Cameron’s former communications chief Andy Coulson is facing jail after being found guilty of conspiring to hack phones while he was editor of the News of the World. Rebekah Brooks, his predecessor in the job, walked free from the Old Bailey after she was cleared of all four of the charges she faced in the eight-month trial. There were dramatic scenes outside the court as Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie, who was also cleared, left the dock. Coulson stood emotionless as he absorbed the news. Looking faint and close to tears, Brooks walked with the support of the court’s matron and her solicitor Angus McBride. Charlie, also close to tears, followed, as did her secretary, Cheryl Carter, who was also cleared. Brooks smiled as the jury forewoman called out the first of the verdicts on the four charges she faced. She smiled weakly as the first verdict of not guilty was called out, knowing she had three more to come. Charlie, Carter and News International’s head of security, Mark Hanna, were all cleared of one count each – conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.