Four years after Met began investigating journalists: £33.5m spent, 64 arrested and/or charged, four jailed

In January 2011 the Met Police launched what is now reckoned to have become the biggest UK criminal investigation ever, into journalists.

It began with the targeting of voicemail interception at the News of the World and expanded to look at payments to public officials and allegations of computer-hacking.

Up to the end of September 2014 the total cost to the Met Police was £33.5m. With legal fees from trials, the total cost to the state of these investigations is far higher.

At least 64 journalists have been arrested and/or charged so far (some journalists have been charged without being arrested).

The £33.5m has so far resulted in four journalists being sent to prison (all spending less than a year inside). There have been ten convictions in total: three guilty verdicts after a trial, and seven guilty pleas.

Of the 17 journalists who have faced trial:

  • Seven have been found not guilty
  • Three have been found guilty
  • Seven face a retrial after juries failed to agree a verdict.

Operation Weeting (phone-hacking), cost: £19.2m

Weeting has been far the most successful of the three probes securing eight convictions.

These comprised one guilty verdict at trial (former News of the World editor Andy Coulson) and seven guilty pleas.

Weeting is the only investigation in which judges have considered the crimes serious enough to send journalists to prison: Andy Coulson, Neville Thurlbeck, Greg Miskiw and Ian Edmondson (all formerly of the News of the World).

Operation Elveden (payments to public officials), cost: £11.3m

Of the 34 journalists arrested and/or charged under Operation Elveden there have so far been only two convictions: a former News of the World journalist who can’t yet be named who was found guilty by a jury and former News of the World and Sunday Mirror journalist Dan Evans who admitted the offence.

Five journalists have been found not guilty by a jury and seven face retrials after the jury failed to reach a verdict.

Operation Tuleta (computer-hacking), cost: £3m

Operation Tuleta has so far secured one caution for computer-hacking and one conviction for handling a stolen mobile phone (Nick Parker of The Sun, who was given a suspended sentence).

The 64 UK journalists arrested and/or charged by police since April 2011

*means they were not arrested, date is when they were charged

** At Kingston Crown Court, Jamie Pyatt, Chris Pharo, Graham Dudman and Ben O'Driscoll were each found not-guilty on some counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office but all face a retrial after the jury failed to reach verdicts on different counts of the same charge.

CPCJ = conspiracy to pervert the course of justice


Name 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
Andy Coulson NoW Hacking, payments, perjury 08/07/2011 Yes Guilty (hacking)
Clive Goodman NoW Payments 08/07/2011 Yes Awaiting trial
Neil Wallis NoW Hacking 14/07/2011 Yes Awaiting trial
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 Awaiting trial**
Bethany Usher NoW Hacking 30/11/2011 No Cleared
A journalist NoW Payments 15/12/2011 Yes Guilty verdict
Graham Dudman The Sun Payments 28/01/2012 Yes Awaiting trial**
Chris Pharo The Sun Payments 28/01/2012 Yes Awaiting trial**
Mike Sullivan The Sun Payments 28/01/2012 No Cleared
Fergus Shanahan The Sun Payments 28/01/2012 Yes On trial
John Sturgis The Sun Payments 11/02/2012 No Cleared
Geoff Webster The Sun Payments 11/02/2012 Yes On trial
John Kay The Sun Payments 11/02/2012 Yes On trial
Nick Parker The Sun Payments, handling stolen phone 11/02/2012 Yes Guilty verdict (handling)
Virginia Wheeler The Sun Payments 01/03/2012 Yes Charges dropped health grounds
Duncan Larcombe The Sun Payments 19/04/2012 Yes On trial
Clodargh Hartley The Sun Payments 25/05/2012 Yes Not guilty verdict
Neil Millard The Sun Payments 14/06/2012 Yes Awaiting trial
Greig Box-Turnbull Daily Mirror Payments 04/07/2012 Yes Awaiting trial
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 Awaiting trial
Douglas Wright NoW Hacking, perjury 17/08/2012 Yes Awaiting trial
Patrick Foster The Times Computer hacking 29/08/2012 No Cautioned
Bob Bird NoW CPCJ 29/08/2012 Yes Awaiting trial
Alex Marunchak NoW Computer hacking 02/09/2012 No On bail
Tom Wells The Sun Payments 19/09/2012 Yes Awaiting trial
John Coles The Sun Payments 19/09/2012 No Cleared
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 Awaiting trial
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
James Scott Sunday People Hacking 14/03/2013 No On bail
Tina Weaver Sunday Mirror Hacking 14/03/2013 No On bail
Mark Thomas Sunday People Hacking 14/03/2013 No On bail
Nick Buckley Sunday People Hacking 14/03/2013 No On bail
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 Awaiting trial**
Man, 43 Freelance Payments 13/09/2013 No Cleared
Graham Brough* Daily Mirror Payments 26/02/2014 Yes Awaiting trial
Brandon Malinsky* The Sun Payments 26/02/2014 Yes Awaiting trial
Ryan Sabey* NoW Payments 15/08/2014 Yes Awaiting trial
Graham Johnson* Sunday Mirror Hacking 18/10/2014 Yes Guilty plea

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