By Michael Holden
British Prime Minister David Cameron’s former media chief Andy Coulson was jailed for 18 months on Friday for being complicit in industrial scale phone-hacking by journalists at the Rupert Murdoch tabloid he edited.
Coulson, editor of the now defunct News of the World newspaper from 2003-2007, was convicted last week of conspiracy to illegally intercept voicemails on mobile phones following a high-profile eight-month trial at London’s Old Bailey court.
The maximum sentence the 46-year-old could have faced was two years.
“Mr Coulson on the jury’s verdict has to take the major blame for the phone hacking at the News of the World,” judge John Saunders said. “He knew about it and encouraged it when he should have stopped it.”
Three other senior journalists from the paper Greg Miskiw, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup, were also sentenced on Friday. Miskiw and Thurlbeck were sentenced to six months in jail while Weatherup was given a 4 month suspended sentence.
Glenn Mulcaire, the former private investigator who conducted much of the hacking, was given a six month suspended sentence.
Coulson’s one time lover Rebekah Brooks, another former News of the World editor who later ran News Corp.’s British newspaper arm, was found not guilty of phone-hacking and other allegations last week by the jury.