Hacking whistleblower Sean Hoare found dead at his home

 

A former News of the World reporter who blew the whistle on widespread phone hacking at the title has been found dead.



Sean Hoare, who also worked on The Sun, was pronounced dead at his home in Langley Road, Watford, shortly before 11am yesterday. Hertfordshire police said his death, although unexplained, was not suspicious. Investigations are continuing.

Police forensic officers were seen entering Mr Hoare's home at around 9.30pm last night carrying evidence bags, clipboards, torches and laptop-style bags.

Mr Hoare, who had health problems from drinking and drugs during his years as a showbusiness reporter, was the first News International journalist to allege that Andy Coulson had known about widespread phone hacking at the NOTW.

After being sacked by the NOTW when his health deteriorated, he told The New York Times that Mr Coulson actively encouraged his staff to eavesdrop on messages on celebrities' phones. Mr Hoare, once a close friend of Mr Coulson, said: "He was well aware that the practice exists. To deny it is a lie, simply a lie."

Mr Coulson, then the Prime Minister's communications chief, denied the claims, saying he had "never condoned the use of phone hacking and nor do I have any recollection of incidences where phone hacking took place".

Some commentators claimed Mr Hoare's testimony could not be taken seriously because he had been dismissed from the NOTW because of his drink and drug addiction. But Mr Hoare always insisted that all he was doing was telling the truth.

After The New York Times article last September, he was interviewed under caution as a suspect rather than a witness by Metropolitan Police officers. He made no comment to the team led by Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who resigned from the force yesterday over claims he mishandled the case.

Mr Hoare, who recalled how he took cocaine and pills while mingling with rock stars, claimed last week that NOTW reporters bribed police officers to track targets for stories using mobile-phone mast technology.

While acknowledging that his health was failing, he expressed a desire that journalism be cleaned up and said he had not been paid for his allegations. He lived long enough to see the arrest of Mr Coulson – who denies any wrongdoing – on suspicion of phone hacking a fortnight ago and police corruption earlier this month.

Mr Hoare's death means that his in-depth knowledge of alleged illegality at the defunct Sunday redtop will not be available to the public inquiry into illicit behaviour by the press, which was confirmed by David Cameron last week. It is not known whether Operation Weeting, the current police investigation into phone hacking at the NOTW, interviewed him.

Mr Hoare apparently told a reporter last week that he had been injured the previous weekend while dismantling a marquee put up for a children's party. An accidental blow from a heavy pole used to erect the marquee had had broken his nose and badly injured his foot.

The circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear. Last night Hertfordshire police issued a statement, which said: "At 10.40am today police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street... the man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
News
i100
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015