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Phone-hacking trial: Andy Coulson sentenced to 18 months in prison

Andy Coulson arriving at the sentencing today

The presiding judge of the phone-hacking trial at the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Saunders, today sentenced former News of the World editor Andy Coulson to 18 months in prison for his involvement in the illegal interception of communications.

Three of Coulson's former News of the World staff were also sentenced after pleading guilty to taking part in a conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages of celebrities, royals and others between 2000 and 2006.

Former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former newsdesk editor Greg Miskiw were each sentenced to six months in jail.

James Weatherup, also from the News of the World newsdesk, received a four month suspended sentence.

In his statement, Judge Saunders said: "I have no doubt there will be comment about the sentences I pass...some will say it is an attack on the freedom of the press."

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