Jury deems former journalist for The Sun not guilty in 'stolen phone' trial

The Sun's former journalist Ben Ashford has been found 'not guilty' on two charges relating to his use of a stolen mobile phone by a jury at London's Old Bailey.

Ashford, 35, faced two charges in relation to obtaining and accessing information from a mobile phone stolen in 2009 from a Manchester nightclub.

The jury rejected the prosecution's argument that the journalist knew the phone was stolen before taking possession of it from a student, Samina Rashid, and that he had looked at "saucy" pictures and text messages on the phone in the full knowledge that he had no authorisation to access the data.

The aquittal, in one of the first cases brought to court under "Operation Tuleta" will come as a blow to the Metropolitan police and Crown prosecution service investigating alleged illegal practices in the tabloid press.

Full report to follow.