Hacking trial: Andy Coulson and Clive Goodman to face retrial over bribery plot charges

Former NOTW editor Coulson already faces jail after jury at Old Bailey found him guilty of plotting to hack phones

Former No 10 spin doctor Andy Coulson's legal woes continued today when he was told he would face a re-trial over charges of plotting to bribe public officials while he was an editor at the News of the World.

Last week a jury was discharged after it failed to agree on whether Coulson, 46, and ex-NotW royal editor Clive Goodman, 56, conspired to commit misconduct in public office by paying police officers for two royal directories.

But today the Crown Prosecution Service announced it would still pursue both defendants over the two counts.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC said: “The CPS has taken the position to proceed with the retrial.”

Coulson, of Charing in Kent, already faces jail after the jury found him guilty of plotting to hack phones at the NotW between 2000 and 2006 following the Old Bailey trial which went on for 139 days.

Goodman, of Addlestone, Surrey, pleaded guilty to phone hacking in 2006 and despite admitting his activities were more extensive than he had previously said, he will not face any further legal action over it.

Read more:
Coulson jury discharged after failing to reach verdict
Hacking trial: How the case was won and lost
Labour asks why Andy Coulson wasn’t properly vetted

Coulson was joined in the dock by private detective Glenn Mulcaire and four former NotW journalists who have all admitted their part in phone hacking at hearings before the trial began.

Lawyers are expected to mitigate for the defendants before Mr Justice Saunders hands down sentences on Friday.

Four senior staff “utterly corrupted” the NotW the highest level, the court heard.

Coulson was being sentenced alongside former colleagues Neville Thurlbeck, Greg Miskiw and James Weatherup who have all admitted their part in the “systemic misconduct”.

Private detective Glenn Mulcaire also stood in the dock of the Old Bailey to be sentenced for his part in the criminal plot.

He was paid around half a million pounds to hack a list of victims which “read like a Who's Who of Britain”, the prosecutor said.

He added the defendants were responsible for corrupting the NotW at the highest level, the court heard.

He said: “Your lordship is dealing with four senior executives who were...employed at the NotW. There are three defendants who were at one time or another newsdesk editor at executive levels.

Video: David Cameron apologises over Andy Coulson

”The newsdesk editor job was described as being the hub or engine room of the paper therefore all of these four defendants can be described as highly paid and influential employees of a national newspaper.

“Between them these defendants utterly corrupted this newspaper which became at the highest level a criminal enterprise.” He went on: “This was systemic misconduct approved and participated in by the editor himself.”

Reporter Dan Evans, who has also admitted phone hacking, will be sentenced separately in late July, the court heard.

PA

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