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Journalist Neil Wallis devastated at hacking charges

By Margaret Davis

Former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis said he is "devastated" to face a "swingeing, indiscriminate charge" of conspiring to hack phones, more than a year after he was told he would face no further action.

The journalist, nicknamed "the wolf man", and former features editor at the tabloid Jules Stenson are both accused of conspiring to illegally listen to voicemails between January 2003 and January 2007.

Wallis said in a statement: "I am devastated that more than three years after my initial arrest, this has been brought against me. My family and I have already paid a huge price from the police's very public attention.

"Perhaps it is inevitable that after being such an outspoken critic of the collateral damage and pain caused by this endlessly vindictive and enormously costly investigation the ire has been turned on me for something that occurred at News International which I was not party to and have always said was wrong.

"Sadly, legal reporting restrictions prevent me commenting further on this sad day."

They were both charged as part of Operation Pinetree, a Scotland Yard investigation into allegations that News of the World features staff had obtained information in this way.

Wallis was previously arrested in a dawn raid in July 2011, and was told in February last year that he would face no further action.

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