Justice Saunders Sentencing Remarks at the Hacking Trial

What the judge said about Coulson and the other defendants in full.Andy Coulson got 18 months in jail.

The Criminal Media Nexus

R –v- Coulson and others.

Sentencing Remarks

Parliament has decided that it is a criminal offence to access the voicemails of other people without their consent or an order of the court. Parliament has decided that the offence applies to members of the press in the same way as it does to all other citizens. This law provides the same protection to all citizens including those who, for one reason or another, are in the public eye. Parliament set the maximum sentence for the offence of intercepting communications at 2 years imprisonment and Parliament has decided that the same maximum sentence applies to an offence of conspiracy which can cover, as it does in this case, a very large number of individual offences.

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Phone Hacking Trial: Andy Coulson guilty of phone hacking charge, Brooks not guilty on all charges – Martin Hickman

How is the mighty press secretary for David Cameron, the love cheat who exposed David Blunkett, fallen! What does this mean for Rupert Murdoch when a right hand man is exposed as a conspiratorial phone hacker! What does it say about Cameron’s judgement when Matthew Ancona’s book reveals that Coulson himself warned Cameron of the problem of the police investigation into the News of the World meant he shouldn’t take the job in the first place.

Inforrm's Blog

Andy CoulsonAndy Coulson, the former tabloid guilty who became the Prime Minister’s director of communications, was today found guilty at the Old Bailey of conspiring to hack phones while running the News of the World.

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Phone Hacking Trial: Closing Speech, Clive Goodman “groomed” to take sole blame for phone hacking- Martin Hickman

Damning summing up by David Spens for defendant Clive Goodman who says he was ” groomed ” by Andy Coulson to take the phone hacking rap so other NI executives could escape blame.

Inforrm's Blog

davidspens(1)Day 109: Clive Goodman, the News of the World’s royal editor, was “groomed” to take sole blame for the phone hacking scandal, his lawyer told a court today.

Making his closing speech at the phone hacking trial, David Spens, QC, said his client was encouraged by executives to stay silent in 2006-07 about the full scale of illegality at the paper as part of a “cynical” cover-up.

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Phone Hacking Trial: Clive Goodman: CPS had evidence incriminating three NOTW execs in 2006 – Martin Hickman

So Clive Goodman has now implicated THREE News International executives for involvement in phone hacking and the Crown Prosecution Service for not wanting to prosecute them. Extraordinary claim against Coulson that he could arrange for Goodman not to go to prison. Goodman was later jailed for four months. Wow!

Inforrm's Blog

News Of The WorldDay 72: The Crown Prosecution Service had evidence incriminating three News of the World executives in phone hacking seven years ago – but made a decision to limit the case to the paper’s royal editor Clive Goodman, he claimed at the Old Bailey today.

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Phone Hacking Trial: Clive Goodman lied to newspaper execs about paying police officers – Martin Hickman

So Goodman now says he deliberately lied over paying police officers. What is more revealing is how the News of the World treated sources: taking a ” heartless commercial decision” to expose them to get another story.

Inforrm's Blog

Clive-GoodmanDay 70, Part 2:  Clive Goodman lied to newspaper executives that he was paying police officers so that his stories were published and his contacts were paid more promptly, he said today.

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Historic child sex abuse investigation now looks at an unsolved murder

The Met Police paedophile unit is now  investigating the sadistic murder of a boy  possibly by one of the country’s most notorious paedophiles Sidney Cooke.

The allegations have surfaced as part of a renewed investigation into sex abuse parties held in the 1980s following the seizure of film  by the Met Police in their investigation into whether there was a  group of VIP paedophiles, including a former Cabinet minister, in the 1980s.

 Details are revealed by my colleague Mark Conrad on the Exaro website this weekend.

 He writes: “Police believe that some of the “sex parties” were organised by Sidney Cooke, the notorious paedophile who led the ring of four who were jailed for killing Jason Swift, a 14-year-old boy, in Hackney, east London after gang raping him in 1984.

In a chilling development, the detectives are investigating whether Cooke was involved in an incident in which a pre-teen boy was strangled to death during a sustained sexual attack at a basement flat in London.

Detectives have interviewed what they believe to be a witness to the murder.”

 Cooke is still serving a life sentence in jail for the sexual abuse of two young brothers in the 1970s and 1980s and is now aged 86, one of the growing numbers of elderly paedophiles in prison following successful police prosecutions.

In a quite separate and bizarre development allegations are being made that the security services and special branch may be involved in monitoring the revival of investigations into paedophile rings in the 1980s. People have turned up at  survivors and witnesses addresses saying they are journalists but leaving no cards or numbers. in the latest development reported in the Sunday People and Exaro News a person turned up at a key witness address saying he was from the Sunday People  They had not sent anyone there.

This is disturbing given the alleged record of the security services and special branch about Cyril Smith – who had been monitored by special branch – but no criminal action was taken against him. It could be that the security services are becoming the insecurity services as a result of these new investigations.

Phone Hacking Trial: Coulson offered Goodman “every possible support” after arrest – Martin Hickman

This secretly taped call between Andy Coulson and Clive Goodman – later to be jailed for phone hacking – reveals Coulson was prepared to back him to the end. It also reveals that as early as 2006 the NotW should have realised the game would be up because the Met police had extensive evidence of phone hacking from investigator Glenn Mulcaire’s files.

Inforrm's Blog

Andy CoulsonDay 21 (Part 1):  Andy Coulson offered Clive Goodman “every possible support” after he was arrested for hacking into the voicemails of aides to the Royal family, the phone hacking trial heard today. Mr Coulson, then News of the World editor sympathised with Mr Goodman in  phone call on 8 November 2006. The call was  secretly taped by Mr Goodman.

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Phone Hacking Trial: Reporter warned NoW management they would “all end up in jail” if payments to sensitive sources were traced – Martin Hickman

A really damning comment from the News of the World’s former Royal Editor about payments by the paper released in a memo to the court.

Inforrm's Blog

Clive-GoodmanDay 19:  A News of the World reporter warned the paper’s management that he and its editors could go to jail if police traced cash payments to sensitive sources, the hacking trial heard today.  Clive Goodman, the paper’s royal editor, made the warning about two of the cash contacts who were “in uniform.”

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Revealed: How the explosion in convicted sex offenders has sparked a crisis in our jails

Stuart Hall; One of a growing number of elderly sex offenders now in jail. Pic courtesy: Huffington Post

Stuart Hall; One of a growing number of elderly sex offenders now in jail. Pic courtesy: Huffington Post

An extraordinary report was issued last week by MPs on the Commons Justice committee revealing the impact on prisons of the growing numbers of paedophiles and sex offenders being sent to jail.
The report – virtually unnoticed by the national media ( exceptions BBC and Yorkshire Post) -provides partly an answer to those who say the police aren’t doing their job catching them and the Crown Prosecution Service is not getting enough convictions. It also suggests society failed to acknowledge the scale of sex offences in the past.
What it reveals is that Britain’s jails are being engulfed by a tidal wave of elderly offenders – and a huge proportion are historic child abuse and sex offenders like Stuart Hall.
The figures are in fact staggering. At the end of March 2013 there were 6,639 prisoners in England and Wales who were aged between 50 and 59 and there were 3,381 over the age of 60, counting between them for 12 per cent of the prison population. Custodial Convictions have jumped by 45 per cent for the 50-59 age group and by 46 per cent for those over 60 between 2008 and 2012.
The report highlights historic sex abuse cases as one of the main causes. It says there has been a 45 per cent increase in convicted people sent to jail between 2002 and 2012. They account for a third of the elderly offenders in jail
Indeed the number of infirm elderly mean that two prisons – Dartmoor and the Isle of Wight – are now becoming vulnerable persons units, where prisoners have difficulty climbing stairs,washing, carrying their meal trays and getting into bunk beds.
Nor is this particularly a British phenomenon, American readers of this blog, might be familiar with a recent NBC report revealing a similar crisis in the US.
The British report points out that the problem is likely to grow rather than diminish – particularly given the present drive to prosecute historic child abusers through Operations Yewtree, Fernbridge, Fairbank,Torva and in North Wales and Northern Ireland.
The problem for politicians is that this group are the least loved offenders – some people would want to hang them – and there is little political capital and much outrage to be gained from being even remotely sympathetic.
The one sympathetic statement came from the Howard League for Penal Reform.
Frances Crook, Chief Executive said:
“The select committee is quite right to highlight the growing problem faced by older prisoners in our overcrowded jails. Political leadership is required to address the issue and provide prisons that were never designed to be penal care homes a clear strategy on how best to handle the needs of an increasingly elderly population.
“At the same time the issue of historic sex offences is a real challenge for society. If someone is sentenced many decades after they committed a crime and where they are so infirm as to pose no continuing danger, then the courts should explore other options than simply imprisonment.”
The only danger with this – and I am only taking this from the small number of investigations I have made in this area – is that unfortunately many of the elderly abusers are still sexually active.
But society is going to have to deal with this – or more of our jails will become compulsory old people’s homes at enormous cost to the state and taxpayer.