Rebekah Brooks cleared of all charges at hacking trial

Rebekah Brooks at the Old Bailey

But Andy Coulson found guilty of plotting to hack phones while editor of the News of the World

LAST UPDATED AT 12:28 ON Tue 24 Jun 2014

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has been cleared of all charges as the eight-month phone hacking trial draws to a close.

A jury at the Old Bailey today found her not guilty of four charges, including plotting to hack phones, conspiring to pervert the course of justice, and two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office during her editorship of the News of the World and The Sun.

However, Andy Coulson, David Cameron's former communications chief, was found guilty of plotting to hack phones while he was editor of the News of the World.

His verdict "immediately raises questions for Cameron" who hired him as director of communications only a few weeks after he quit the tabloid, says The Guardian.

Coulson stepped down as editor in January 2007, saying he took "ultimate responsibility" after royal editor Clive Goodman pleaded guilty to phone hacking. But he pleaded not guilty to hacking phones and has repeatedly denied he had any knowledge that the practice was widespread at the tabloid.

Brooks, who resigned as chief executive of News International in July 2011, was formally acquitted in February of another count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

Her PA, Cheryl Carter, her husband, Charlie Brooks, and her head of security, Mark Hanna, have also been found not guilty of all charges, as has Stuart Kuttner, former managing editor of News of the World. Brooks was said to be "overcome by emotion" on hearing the verdicts and was taken away by the court matron.

The jury, which has been considering the verdicts since 11 June, is still deliberating on further charges against Coulson and Goodman of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office by paying police officers for two royal directories. · 

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So if she's not guilty then she was manifestly incompetent in her job. Which is strange coz Rupert Murdoch continuously praised her so highly...

What a shame. I was rather looking forward to seeing old witchy poo go down in a smoking wreck of shame. Maybe next time.

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