View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

The 67 UK journalists arrested and/or charged in the course of their jobs since 2011

By Dominic Ponsford

Since the launch of Operation Weeting five years ago at least 67 UK journalists have been arrested and/or charged.

After an outcry over the many heavy-handed dawn raids, the Met Police changed its modus operandi to interviews under caution. When these are taken into account the total rises above 100.

I've included private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in the tally because he was effectively a full-time member of editorial staff at the News of the World. Some of the charged journalists were not arrested. Many arrested journalists were never charged.

Some of the investigations were pretty laughable. Several journalists were arrested on suspicion of handling a stolen mobile phone because phones belonging to politicians were handed into The Sun. Two of those never even saw the phone in question.

All of those 67 have paid a heavy price. In the early days those arrested had maybe ten officers arrive on their doorstep at 6am, homes searched whilst terrified families looked on, several hours being interviewed in the cells and then years spent reporting for police bail.

At The Sun a whole generation of senior journalists have left the paper after being arrested, charged, suspended and finally cleared.

Some cleared journalists have had their health, relationships and careers ruined.

Content from our partners
New technology from EX.CO helps publishers double on-site video revenue
Five ways to fail in media job interviews
How Germany's Ippen.Media mastered content planning across 86 newsrooms

Over the last five years the UK has arrested more journalists than anywhere else in the Western world. Globally, the countries that compete with us include the likes of Eritrea and Iran.

On hacking, out of 29 arrested: eight individuals have been convicted after admitting offences, one more was found guilty at trial (Andy Coulson).

All the hacking convictions related to the News of the World. From the civil courts it seems that hacking was possibly as widespread at the Mirror titles, but the CPS said on Friday that the evidence was not there for a realistic prospect of convictions. Five Mirror journalists were arrested and a further 15 interviewed under caution in relation to hacking.

Out of 34 journalists arrested and/or charged with illegally paying for stories the end result is two convictions: Dan Evans, who admitted the offence, and Anthony France of The Sun, who is appealing.

Operation Tuleta into computer-hacking secured no convictions. One Times journalist admitted the offence after hacking into a Yahoo email account and was cautioned.

Journalism is important. It is part of the glue that holds society together. It is the means by which those in power are held to account. So I can see why allegations of institutional criminality at national newspapers are something which the police should take seriously.

Phone-hacking was a crooked practice and deserved to be snuffed out.

But the sad thing about the Met's £41.3m investigations into journalists is that hacking had already been purged from the industry after the convictions of Goodman and Mulcaire in 2007.

Payments to public officials were outlawed by the Bribery Act 2010. The computer hacking and mobile phone investigations appear to have been red herrings.

It is difficult to see what all this has achieved.

I suspect that future generations will look back on this and be shocked not by the illegal interception of voicemails, but by the witch-hunt of journalists which ensued.

UK journalists arrested and/or charged in the course of their jobs since 2011

CPCJ=conspiracy to pervert the course of justice

*Charged but not arrested


Title Offence First arrested Charged Result
Neville Thurlbeck NoW Hacking 05/04/2011 Yes Guilty plea
Ian Edmondson NoW Hacking, payments 05/04/2011 Yes Guilty plea (hacking)
James Weatherup NoW Hacking 14/04/2011 Yes Guilty plea
Tenia Taras Freelance Hacking 27/06/2011 No Cleared
Laura Elston PA Hacking 27/06/2011 No Cleared
Clive Goodman NoW Payments 08/07/2011 Yes Cleared
Andy Coulson NoW Hacking, payments, perjury 08/07/2011 Yes Guilty verdict (hacking)
Neil Wallis NoW Hacking 14/07/2011 Yes Not guilty verdict
Rebekah Brooks NoW, Sun Hacking, payments, CPCJ 17/07/2011 Yes Not guilty verdict
Stuart Kuttner NoW Hacking 02/08/2011 Yes Not guilty verdict
Greg Miskiw NoW Hacking 10/08/2011 Yes Guilty plea
James Desborough NoW Hacking 18/08/2011 No Cleared
Dan Evans NoW, Mirror Hacking, payments, CPCJ 19/08/2011 Yes Guilty plea (all three)
Ross Hall NoW Hacking 02/09/2011 No Cleared
Raoul Simons NoW Hacking 07/09/2011 No Cleared
Jamie Pyatt The Sun Payments 04/11/2011 Yes Not guilty verdict
Bethany Usher NoW Hacking 30/11/2011 No Cleared
Glenn Mulcaire NoW Hacking 07/12/2011 Yes  Guilty plea
Lucy Panton NoW Payments 15/12/2011 Yes Cleared
Chris Pharo The Sun Payments 28/01/2012 Yes Not guilty verdict
Graham Dudman The Sun Payments 28/01/2012 Yes Cleared
Mike Sullivan The Sun Payments 28/01/2012 No Cleared
Fergus Shanahan The Sun Payments 28/01/2012 Yes Not guilty verdict
John Sturgis The Sun Payments 11/02/2012 No Cleared
Nick Parker The Sun Payments, handling stolen phone 11/02/2012 Yes Guilty verdict (handling)
Geoff Webster The Sun Payments 11/02/2012 Yes Not guilty verdict
John Kay The Sun Payments 11/02/2012 Yes Not guilty verdict
Virginia Wheeler The Sun Payments 01/03/2012 Yes Charges dropped health grounds
Duncan Larcombe The Sun Payments 19/04/2012 Yes Not guilty verdict
Clodargh Hartley The Sun Payments 25/05/2012 Yes Not guilty verdict
Neil Millard The Sun Payments 14/06/2012 Yes Not guilty verdict
Greig Box-Turnbull Daily Mirror Payments 04/07/2012 Yes Cleared
Justin Penrose Sunday Mirror Payments 11/07/2012 No Cleared
Tom Savage Daily Star Sunday Payments 11/07/2012 Yes Not guilty verdict
Rhodri Phillips The Sun Computer hacking 19/07/2012 No Cleared
Man, 37 The Sun Handling stolen phone 31/07/2012 No Cleared
Ben Ashford The Sun Handling stolen phone 07/08/2012 Yes Not guilty verdict
Vince Soodin The Sun Payments 08/08/2012 Yes Cleared
Douglas Wight NoW Hacking, perjury 17/08/2012 Yes Cleared
Patrick Foster The Times Computer hacking 29/08/2012 No Cautioned
Bob Bird NoW CPCJ 29/08/2012 Yes Cleared
Alex Marunchak NoW Computer hacking 02/09/2012 No Cleared
John Coles The Sun Payments 19/09/2012 No Cleared
Tom Wells The Sun Payments 19/09/2012 Yes Not guilty verdict
Chris Pollard The Sun Handling stolen phone 20/09/2012 No Cleared
Woman, 38   Payments 06/12/2012 No Cleared
Anthony France The Sun Payments 17/01/2013 Yes Guilty verdict
Matt Nixson NoW Hacking 13/02/2013 No Cleared
Rav Singh NoW Hacking 13/02/2013 No Cleared
Rachel Richardson NoW Hacking 13/02/2013 No Cleared
Jane Atkinson NoW Hacking 13/02/2013 No Cleared
Polly Graham NoW Hacking 13/02/2013 No Cleared
Jules Stenson NoW Hacking 13/02/2013 Yes Guilty plea
Tina Weaver Sunday Mirror Hacking 14/03/2013 No Cleared
James Scott Sunday People Hacking 14/03/2013 No Cleared
Mark Thomas Sunday People Hacking 14/03/2013 No Cleared
Nick Buckley Sunday People Hacking 14/03/2013 No Cleared
John Troup* The Sun Payments 21/05/2013 Yes Not guilty verdict
John Edwards The Sun Payments 21/06/2013 Yes Not guilty verdict
Ben O'Driscoll* The Sun Payments 12/09/2013 Yes Cleared
Man, 43 Freelance Payments 13/09/2013 No Cleared
Graham Brough* Daily Mirror Payments 26/02/2014 Yes Not guilty verdict
Brandon Malinsky* The Sun Payments 26/02/2014 Yes Not guilty verdict
Stephen Moyes*  NoW, Sun Payments 16/04/2014 Yes Cleared
Ryan Sabey* NoW Payments 15/08/2014 Yes Cleared
Graham Johnson* Sunday Mirror Hacking 18/10/2014 Yes Guilty plea
Lee Harpin Daily Mirror Hacking 15/07/2015 No Cleared

* Charged without being arrested

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network