Andy Coulson and former NOTW staff in court on 50 phone hacking charges

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson leaves Westminster Magistrates Court
Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson leaves Westminster Magistrates Court
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PRIME Minister David Cameron’s former spin doctor Andy Coulson, private eye Glenn Mulcaire and five senior journalists at the now-defunct News of the World have appeared in court accused of hacking the phones of celebrities, crime victims and politicians.

Ex-editor Coulson, former managing editor Stuart Kutt-ner, head of news Ian Edmondson, news editor Greg Miskiw,

ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, reporter James Weatherup as well as Mulcaire appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday to face a total of 50 charges relating to the phone hacking investigation.

Former Sun and News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, who is also facing charges of phone hacking, was absent. All seven who were present were remanded to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 26 September, the same day as Brooks.

Yesterday, as the court clerk took 15 minutes to read the charges, Weatherup, Edmondson, Coulson, Kuttner, and Thurlbeck sat in the front of the dock.

Behind Weatherup sat Mulcaire, who is alleged to have carried out the illegal voicemail interceptions on behalf of the newspaper, and, separated by half a dozen empty seats,

Miskiw.

All except Edmondson and Weatherup are charged with hacking the voicemail messages of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler when she went missing in 2002. Each of them answered to their names, before their dates of birth and addresses were read out.

Prosecutor Nigel Pilkington told the court the charges were indictable offences and are to be sent to Southwark Crown Court.

The clerk of the court then read out the details of all 50 charges.

All except Mulcaire are charged together and with others, including former Royal reporter Clive Goodman and Mulcaire, of conspiring to

unlawfully intercept the voicemail of well-known people

and their associates between 3 October 2000 and 19 August 2006.

Coulson, 42, from south-east London, is charged with conspiring with others to access the phone messages of murder victim Milly Dowler, former

Labour ministers David Blunkett and Charles Clarke, and George Best’s son, Calum.

Kuttner, 72, from Woodford Green, Essex, is accused in relation to Milly and Mr Blunkett; and Miskiw, 62, from Leeds, faces charges linked to Dowler,

Sven-Goran Eriksson, Abi Titmuss and John Leslie, former union leader Andrew Gilchrist, Mr Blunkett, Delia Smith, Mr Clarke, Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller, and Wayne Rooney.

Edmondson, 43, from south- west London, faces charges in relation to Mr Blunkett, Mr Clarke, Law, Frost, Miller, former MP Mark Oaten, Rooney, Best, former Labour minister Tessa Jowell and her husband David Mills, Lord Prescott, Professor John Tulloch, Lord Frederick Windsor, and Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills.

Thurlbeck, 50, from Esher, Surrey, is accused over Milly, Eriksson, Mr Blunkett, Mr Clarke, Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Mr Oaten, Ms Jowell and Mr Mills.

Weatherup, 56, from Brentwood in Essex, is charged in relation to Mr Blunkett, Mr Clarke, Law, Frost and Miller, Jolie and Pitt, Rooney, Lord Prescott and Sir Paul and Ms Mills.

Private investigator Mulcaire, 41, from Sutton, south London, is charged over Milly, Mr Gilchrist, Smith and Mr Clarke.