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Andy Coulson 'ambitious but not ruthless'

BY ALEX DIAZ AND NEIL LANCEFIELD

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson is "very ambitious but not ruthless", the jury in his trial for alleged phone hacking has heard from one of his oldest friends.

Dean Keyworth told the Old Bailey that he had met Coulson while he was a 19-year-old journalism student – before he embarked on a successful career in the media and later politics.

Coulson (45) denies conspiring with others to hack phones between October 3, 2000 and August 9, 2006 during the time he worked at the now-defunct tabloid.

Mr Keyworth told the jury: "He is a very loyal friend and despite becoming extremely busy and very important he retained his friendships, he took care of them and the few people who were close to him.

"He is very ambitious but I don't think he is ruthless," the witness said, adding that Coulson "wanted to get the story but not at any cost".

The witness also said the two would have fun in nightclubs and at celebrity parties during Coulson's time as editor of showbiz column Bizarre.

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