Shock over Coulson guilty verdict for phone hacking

Shock over Coulson guilty verdict for phone hacking

Andy Coulson was found guilty of phone hacking

Peter Owen, ex deputy editor of the Echo

First published in News

THE man who launched Andy Coulson’s journalism career at the Echo has been left shocked after the former No 10 communications chief was found guilty of phone hacking.

Wickford-born Coulson, 46, who was forced to resign as head of communications at Downing Street over the scandal, has spent the past seven years denying he knew phone hacking was rife at the News of the World, where he was editor.

He worked at the Echo for three years after joining as a trainee reporter in 1988, before going on to join the Sun’s Bizarre gossip column, and being appointed editor of News of the World aged just 34.

Coulson, now of Charing, Kent, quit after taking “ultimate responsibility” when royal correspondent Clive Goodman was convicted of phone hacking in January 2007, but always claimed he knew nothing about the conspiracy.

Yesterday he was convicted of conspiring to hack phones following eight days of deliberations by a jury at the Old Bailey.

Peter Owen, who was deputy editor of the Echo at the time Coulson worked on the paper, said: “It was his ambition and determination which really stood out. He first came to us when he was 15 looking for work experience, but I said he had to go back to school and finish his A-levels first.

“Everyone who knew him when he was at the Echo thought he was a very decent guy, he was just a natural.

“As far as I’m concerned he was straight and I’m shocked by the verdict. When I last spoke to him he was anxious to get into the witness box to give his side of the story, and his priority was his wife and sons.

“I know he will be very concerned about them now.”

The jury is still considering further charges against Coulson of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office by paying police officers.

Rebecca Brooks, ex-News International chief executive and Coulson’s predecessor at the News of the World, was cleared of any involvement in the phone hacking scandal.

Her husband Charlie Brooks, secretary Cheryl Carter, and former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner were also found not guilty.

Coulson will be sentenced at a later date.

Comments (6)

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11:40am Thu 26 Jun 14

jayman says...

strings where pulled and phone calls where made. Coulson was/is as guilty as sin. however, He was hung out to dry, should have been a few more hanging from the line. Jeremy Clarkson's friend 'both of them' should think themselves very lucky. The washing was done because someone had a lot of dirt on someone else.
strings where pulled and phone calls where made. Coulson was/is as guilty as sin. however, He was hung out to dry, should have been a few more hanging from the line. Jeremy Clarkson's friend 'both of them' should think themselves very lucky. The washing was done because someone had a lot of dirt on someone else. jayman
  • Score: 4

12:41pm Thu 26 Jun 14

pussycats says...

And if one would like to congratulate Rebekah Brooks on her acquittal, you could always leave a message on YOUR voicemail.
And if one would like to congratulate Rebekah Brooks on her acquittal, you could always leave a message on YOUR voicemail. pussycats
  • Score: 7

6:37pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Kim Gandy says...

Coulson is also ex alumni of Beauchamps High School. Just goes to show how "ambition" can be a double edged sword. Especially in journalism and politics.

This makes a mockery of the whole idea of a free press, especially when press "freedom" is taken to such extremes.

Perhaps now other, especially up and coming journalists, will stop and think before using underhand tactics, lies, deceit, fabricated or exaggerated "evidence", speculation and surmise and especially ABusing technology.

Often modern journalism relies on plain old fashioned harassment and sensationalism.

I hope this is a lesson to all and that we will now see some decent standards, honest practices, courtesy and respect for privacy and especially for the truth; something that has been sadly missing from the media in recent years.
Coulson is also ex alumni of Beauchamps High School. Just goes to show how "ambition" can be a double edged sword. Especially in journalism and politics. This makes a mockery of the whole idea of a free press, especially when press "freedom" is taken to such extremes. Perhaps now other, especially up and coming journalists, will stop and think before using underhand tactics, lies, deceit, fabricated or exaggerated "evidence", speculation and surmise and especially ABusing technology. Often modern journalism relies on plain old fashioned harassment and sensationalism. I hope this is a lesson to all and that we will now see some decent standards, honest practices, courtesy and respect for privacy and especially for the truth; something that has been sadly missing from the media in recent years. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 0

7:11pm Thu 26 Jun 14

alarminstaller says...

This might be an odd comment but after giving this much heralded subject much thought there is several ways of looking at it good or bad depending on your viewpoint.

1 The term Hacking as referred to IN THIS CASE when they say hacking I understand that this is not like uninvited connecting into a telephone line or intercepting a mobile phone signal it is when the hacker merely phones another persons number then hacks into the recorded answer phone service.
Be that right or wrong I am of the view that it is wrong HOWEVER I will pass a certain amount of blame on the celebrity, star, or Royal family member because they have not secured their answer phone service in one of two ways, by either a security code thus preventing access or cancelling any answer phone service so no messages can be left thus preventing any private matters being hacked.
2. Should we blame any keen and enthusiastic reporter who is under pressure to discover interesting news if they find that it is really that easy to recover answer phone messages from anyone that has not taken simple security measures.
I understand this is a very different way of looking at this subject but it must be said.
I believe what they/he did was wrong BUT in a sad way I understand why they/he did it, simply because it was so easy to do.

On the subject of telecommunication Line tapping which is a deliberate act of connection by physical means THAT IS 100% WRONG unless done legally with consent of the law i.e Spoofs etc.
This might be an odd comment but after giving this much heralded subject much thought there is several ways of looking at it good or bad depending on your viewpoint. 1 The term Hacking as referred to IN THIS CASE when they say hacking I understand that this is not like uninvited connecting into a telephone line or intercepting a mobile phone signal it is when the hacker merely phones another persons number then hacks into the recorded answer phone service. Be that right or wrong I am of the view that it is wrong HOWEVER I will pass a certain amount of blame on the celebrity, star, or Royal family member because they have not secured their answer phone service in one of two ways, by either a security code thus preventing access or cancelling any answer phone service so no messages can be left thus preventing any private matters being hacked. 2. Should we blame any keen and enthusiastic reporter who is under pressure to discover interesting news if they find that it is really that easy to recover answer phone messages from anyone that has not taken simple security measures. I understand this is a very different way of looking at this subject but it must be said. I believe what they/he did was wrong BUT in a sad way I understand why they/he did it, simply because it was so easy to do. On the subject of telecommunication Line tapping which is a deliberate act of connection by physical means THAT IS 100% WRONG unless done legally with consent of the law i.e Spoofs etc. alarminstaller
  • Score: 0

8:32pm Thu 26 Jun 14

ThisYear says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Coulson is also ex alumni of Beauchamps High School. Just goes to show how "ambition" can be a double edged sword. Especially in journalism and politics.

This makes a mockery of the whole idea of a free press, especially when press "freedom" is taken to such extremes.

Perhaps now other, especially up and coming journalists, will stop and think before using underhand tactics, lies, deceit, fabricated or exaggerated "evidence", speculation and surmise and especially ABusing technology.

Often modern journalism relies on plain old fashioned harassment and sensationalism.

I hope this is a lesson to all and that we will now see some decent standards, honest practices, courtesy and respect for privacy and especially for the truth; something that has been sadly missing from the media in recent years.
Is there anything you dont have an opinion on Ga-Ga?
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: Coulson is also ex alumni of Beauchamps High School. Just goes to show how "ambition" can be a double edged sword. Especially in journalism and politics. This makes a mockery of the whole idea of a free press, especially when press "freedom" is taken to such extremes. Perhaps now other, especially up and coming journalists, will stop and think before using underhand tactics, lies, deceit, fabricated or exaggerated "evidence", speculation and surmise and especially ABusing technology. Often modern journalism relies on plain old fashioned harassment and sensationalism. I hope this is a lesson to all and that we will now see some decent standards, honest practices, courtesy and respect for privacy and especially for the truth; something that has been sadly missing from the media in recent years.[/p][/quote]Is there anything you dont have an opinion on Ga-Ga? ThisYear
  • Score: 1

9:53am Tue 1 Jul 14

nibbo says...

Did anyone think it unusual when coulson was made editor at that young age, he was put there to be the fall guy as i bet it was going on long before his arrival. Rebekah brooks is a very clever and influential woman who no doubt had many men quaking in their boots. This is not justice , coulson may have been ambitious and may have had to relax his morals being in the circle he was in but the real criminals here, have got off, i wonder why that is?
Did anyone think it unusual when coulson was made editor at that young age, he was put there to be the fall guy as i bet it was going on long before his arrival. Rebekah brooks is a very clever and influential woman who no doubt had many men quaking in their boots. This is not justice , coulson may have been ambitious and may have had to relax his morals being in the circle he was in but the real criminals here, have got off, i wonder why that is? nibbo
  • Score: 0

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