Belfast Telegraph

Tabloid executive and PA cleared of charges

By Emily Pennink

Other people cleared of charges along with Rebekah Brooks and her husband were retired News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner (74) and her fomer personal assistant Cheryl Carter.

Kuttner was cleared of being part of the hacking conspiracy dating back to 2000 and spanning six years.

Carter (50) was cleared of perverting the course of justice by removing seven boxes from News International's archive just days before she was arrested in 2011.

Her husband, racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks (52), and News International head of security Mark Hanna (51) were cleared of perverting the course of justice around the time of police searches in July 2011.

The prosecution had alleged that because of the the sheer scale of phone hacking at the News of the World, Rebekah Brooks, Coulson and Kuttner must have known what was going on while in charge. Three more senior ex-journalists have since admitted involvement in tasking the private detective – news editor James Weatherup, chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, and assistant editor Greg Miskiw.

Reporter Dan Evans, caught hacking the phone of designer Kelly Hoppen in 2009, became a star witness by implicating 10 colleagues, including Andy Coulson.

Brooks was editor in 2002 when Glen Mulcaire hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler – an act which led to the eventual downfall of the tabloid.

But it was after Coulson took over the editorship in 2003 and Brooks went to the Sun that hacking really took off at the News of the World, the court heard.

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