Thurlbeck will not face charges over witness intimidation

The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed it will not be prosecuting former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck over allegations of witness intimidation and harassment relating to the phone-hacking scandal.

A statement released by the Met today said: “A 50-year-old man was arrested by appointment at a central London police station on Wednesday, 14 March, by officers from Operation Weeting, the MPS inquiry into the phone-hacking of voicemail boxes.

‘He was arrested on suspicion of intimidation of a witness (contrary to Section 51 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994) and encouraging or assisting an offence (contrary to Section 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007) and released on bail to a police station in south-west London. He returned this morning (Friday, 27 April) and was released with no further action.”

Thurlbeck was previously arrested on 5 April 2011 on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and unlawful interception of voicemail messages

The Met said he was bailed to return to a south-west London police station in May this year in relation to the arrest in April.

The allegations related to a blog post by Thurlbeck on 7 March in which he gave the home address of Will Lewis, a member of News Corporation‘s Management and Standards Committee.

Alison Levitt QC, the top legal adviser to the director of public prosecutions, said “Having applied the full test set out in the code for Crown prosecutors the CPS has concluded that no prosecution should take place.

“Given that the journalist in question remains on bail for further offences we do not intend to give any further information at this point.

“Mr Thurlbeck remains on police bail on suspicion of offences under Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.”

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