UK & World News
Phone Hacking A 'Shameful Episode' For Press
There are few who would dispute the phone-hacking scandal has been the most shameful episode in modern British journalism.
It led to the closure of one of the UK's most popular newspapers, the conviction of key journalists and a large-scale and costly police investigation, which is still ongoing and will result in future prosecutions.
The tabloid newspaper industry is renowned for being cut-throat, for intruding into the lives of the rich and famous but the News Of The World (NOTW) took that ruthlessness to a new level, hacking the phones of victims of crime and terrorism.
The seven-month long trial at the Old Bailey heard of a culture of criminality among some at the NOTW.
Former journalist Dan Evans, who has pleaded guilty to phone hacking, told the court he was employed by the paper partly for his hacking expertise.
He told the court he hacked more than 200 phones and claimed hacking was an "open secret" at the newspaper, where "even the office cat knew about it".
The prosecution claimed that culture of criminality spread, in part, to the NOTW's sister publication, The Sun. There, it was claimed some staff would pay public officials for inside information on stories.
Phone hacking first came to light in 2006. At the time, News International claimed phone hacking at the paper was not widespread but the work of "one rogue reporter".
Official figures have now put the total number of potential phone-hacking victims at 5,500.
Football agent Sky Andrew was one such victim, hacked for inside information on some of the high-profile football stars he represents.
Speaking exclusively to Sky News, he said: "If you speak to most agents they would think something was going on, you know, because people want to get information ...
"I have always been a very confidential person and so for me particularly it was harrowing to find out someone was intercepting voicemails."
It was the revelation in 2011 that the NOTW had hacked into the mobile phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, when she was abducted by a paedophile in 2002, which caused nationwide revulsion and resulted in the paper's closure.
Before the start of this trial, private investigator Glen Mulcaire pleaded guilty to four counts of phone hacking, including hacking the phone of Milly Dowler.
The paper has had huge influence over the rich and the powerful. NOTW management would regularly throw lavish parties for top politicians, while their staff were busy listening to their private phone messages.
Now former editor Andy Coulson has been convicted and faces the prospect of time behind bars.