Court Date for: Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and Six Others
Andy Coulson has been jailed for 18 months for phone hacking offences(Getty)

Former editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for conspiracy to hack phones.

Coulson, who went on to become prime minster David Cameron's director of communications after resigning from the now-defunct Sunday paper, was sentenced along with three other former NotW journalists.

Former NotW chief correspondent Neville Thurlbeck, assistant news editor James Weatherup and news editor Greg Miskiw pleaded guilty to conspiracy to intercept communications at a previous hearing.

Thurlbeck and Miskiw were both given six months in jail, with Weatherup given a four-month suspended sentence.

Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire also pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to hack phones in relation to Milly Dowler and others. He received a six-month suspended sentence and 200 hours unpaid work.

Former NotW reporter Dan Evans, who also admitted phone hacking, will be sentenced separately later this month.

(From Left) Greg Miskik, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup  have all pleaded guilty to phone hacking charges (Reuters)
(From Left) Greg Miskik, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup all pleaded guilty to phone hacking charges (Reuters)

The court heard how under Coulson's editorship, the paper was "utterly corrupt" and "became a thoroughly criminal enterprise".

Upon sentencing, Judge Justice Saunders said it was "unforgivable" that the paper delayed telling the police what was on the voicmail of murdered schoolgirl Dowler's phone.

He added: "The News of the World were using their resources to try to find Milly Dowler. The fact that they delayed telling the police of the contents of the voicemail demonstrates that their true motivation was not to act in the best interests of the child but to get credit for finding her and thereby sell the maximum number of newspaper.

"All the defendants that I have to sentence save for Mr Mulcaire are distinguished journalists who had no need to behave as they did to be successful. They all achieved a great deal without resorting to the unlawful invasion of other peoples' privacy. Those achievements will now count for nothing."

After his former spin doctor was sentenced to 18 months in jail, Cameron said the case shows how "no one is above the law".

Coulson was found guilty following an eight month trial at the Old Bailey in what is one of the biggest and most expensive cases in British history.

Coulson and former NotW royal editor Clive Goodman face a retrial over allegations they conspired to commit misconduct in a public office by paying a police officer for royal directories. They both deny the allegations.

The rest of the defendants at the phone hacking trial, including former NotW editor and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, were cleared of all charges.

mulcaire
The judge described Glenn Mulcaire as 'the lucky one' after he was given a suspended sentence(Getty)