Decision by Old Bailey leaves phone-hacking defendants in limbountil September 2013

Brooks and Coulson's trial is delayed by at least a year

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were among 12 phone-hacking defendants who crowded into the dock of No 1 court at the Old Bailey yesterday to be told they would have to wait at least a year for their main trial to begin.

In their respective former roles of News International chief executive and Downing Street communications director, Ms Brooks and Mr Coulson were the confidants of media tycoons and prime ministers.

But yesterday the two ex-editors of the News of the World were at the mercy of the bureaucracy and customs of the Central Criminal Court.

Like their co-accused they said nothing other than to confirm their names to the judge, Mr Justice Fulford. Ms Brooks sat quietly at the back of three rows of chairs inside the wood-panelled dock.

In the front row were the NOTW's former assistant editor, Ian Edmondson, his former newsdesk colleague James Weatherup, the paper's former chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, and Mr Coulson. Another news desk executive, Greg Miskiw, sat in the second row with other defendants.

Through narrow barriers of glass they faced out into the court towards the judge, a sea of 19 wigged barristers, further rows of solicitors, other legal advisers and a packed public gallery.

The lead prosecuting counsel, Andrew Edis QC, revealed that the proposed date for the full trial to begin was 9 September 2013. The year's gap is to allow a workable timetable for disclosure and other pre-trial business.

The trial currently involves two cases and two police operations that are legally being managed together. Operation Sacha concerns charges of perverting the course of justice, and Operation Weeting is the Metropolitan Police's inquiry into phone hacking.

The dock should have contained 14 people. But the NOTW's former managing editor, Stuart Kuttner, was excused from attending yesterday's hearing, while counsel for the former private investigator Glenn Mulcaire apologised to the court that his client had been delayed.

Ms Brooks, Mr Coulson and six others are charged with conspiring to illegally access mobile phone voicemails. Ms Brooks is also charged with three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Six others face one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, including Ms Brooks' husband Charlie, her ex-NI chauffeur, Paul Edwards, and her former PA, Cheryl Carter. They are accused of attempting to conceal evidence from police officers who were investigating phone hacking

Others accused of attempting to conceal evidence from the police include NI's former head of security, Mark Hanna, and two other security guards, Daryl Josling and Lee Sandell. All the defendants were bailed.

When the full trial begins, the defendants will be represented by some of the stars of Britain's criminal bar.

Next week Mr Edis will do battle against Ms Brooks' counsel, John Kelsey-Fry QC, and Clare Montgomery QC. Mr Kelsey-Fry is defending the former cabinet minister, Chris Huhne, and Ms Montgomery is representing his former wife, the economist Vicky Pryce. Both face charges of perverting the course of justice.

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?