Phone hacking trial jury retire to consider their verdicts

By Martin Hickman.

After eight months sitting silently in a court at the Old Bailey the jury at the phone hacking trial retired to consider their verdicts for the time time this afternoon.

Shortly after the judge, Mr Justice Saunders, finished five days of summing up, the eight female and three male jurors began their deliberations at 3.33pm.

They returned to Court 12 of London’s Central Criminal Court at 4.52pm, when they were sent home for the night, with a warning that they must not discuss the case with each other after leaving the building.

Addressing them shortly before they retired, Mr Justice Saunders told them: “You are under no pressure of time and you must take the time you need to reach your verdicts.”

He told the jury they could if they wishes sit until 6pm Monday to Thursday, adding that he would send them home by no later than 4.30pm on Fridays.

“What you have to do is to act according to your view,” Mr Justice Saunders told them.

“You have to reach a true verdict according to the evidence you have heard in court – and only that evidence.”

He said the 11 should discuss the evidence only when they were all present – and not separately in “cabals.”

The judge said the jurors should ask him if they needed to review any particular piece of evidence.

He urged them to resist the temptation to look up anything about the case on the internet. Concluding his remarks, he told the jury – who have attended the case promptly during throughout the eight months of evidence: “It’s been a privilege to work with you all.”

The seven defendants in the case are Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Clive Goodman, Cheryl Carter, Charlie Brooks and Mark Hanna.

They are charged variously with one or several of the following charges of conspiracies to hack phones, commit misconduct in a public office and pervert the course of justice.

They deny all charges.

The jury will return to Court 12 at 10am tomorrow to continue their deliberations.

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Martin Sawyerreply
June 20, 2014 at 6:41 pm

It is amazing that the extent of the phone hacking scandal was uncovered when the police first investigated the News of the World. It’s staff, management, editors and owners appear to have conspired to show this as the actions of one reporter and a private investigator. Large payments were allegedly made to ‘police officers’ and ‘public officials’ to gain access to information like the telephone numbers of members of the ‘Royal Family’, and other ‘celebrities’. The defence offered appears to be that ‘stories of public interest’ can justify ‘illegal’ activities. For news paper editors to claim that they ‘were unaware’ of the laws surrounding phone-hacking is completely unacceptable. It is their responsibility to understand laws that govern the ‘news’ industry, and to ensure that their staff, and contractors work within the limits of the law. In addition it appeared that some involved in this case actively attempted to hide evidence from the police, with computers and hard drives, and boxes of documents being removed – these are not the actions as claimed of someone who is ‘stupid’, it very much looks like a conspiracy to hide the truth – which is ironic as the News of the World, it’s editors, reporters and contractors told us that they were simply ‘reporting the truth’.

June 24, 2014 at 11:12 am

Why only 11 jurors in this trial?

Harry Josephreply
June 25, 2014 at 7:25 am

This is a total farce an a waste of tax payers money. Justice has not been served. It’s tough to put your faith in people who claim they are only reporting the truth while lying through their teeth and daring you to prove it.

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