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Brooks bodyguard facing charges

A bodyguard for former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has been charged with conspiring to hide computers and other items from police investigating phone hacking and corrupt payments to public officials.

David Johnson, 47, has been charged with conspiring with others to pervert the course of justice between July 15 and 19 2011, by hiding computers and other items from Scotland Yard, the force said.

He will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday May 8.

It is alleged that Johnson, of London Road, Mitcham, Surrey, conspired with six people who have already been charged, including Brooks and her husband Charlie, to "conceal computers and other items" from officers who were investigating allegations of phone hacking and payments to public officials in relation to the now-defunct News of the World and The Sun.

Gregor McGill, a senior Crown Prosecution Service lawyer, said: "Following a careful review of the evidence, we have concluded that David Johnson, a security professional who was employed to provide a protection service to Rebekah Brooks, should be charged with an offence of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice.

"It is alleged that between 15 and 19 July 2011, Mr Johnson conspired to pervert the course of justice by concealing computers and other items from the Metropolitan Police Service during its investigation into allegations of phone hacking and the corruption of public officials by journalists.

"It is alleged that he conspired with the six defendants already charged in relation to this aspect of Operation Sacha.

"The decision to prosecute has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors."

It is alleged that Johnson conspired with Brooks, her husband Charlie, head of security at News International Mark Hanna, Brooks's chauffeur Paul Edwards and security staff Daryl Jorsling and Lee Sandell, who have all already been charged.

Brooks's former personal assistant Cheryl Carter is also facing a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in connection with the case.

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