This story was updated on 20 August 2014 in the light of new information from Scotland Yard. One, un-named individual, was previously counted twice after being arrested under two different inquries.
From former News of the World news editor Ian Edmondson in April 2011 to former reporter for the same paper Ryan Sabey last week – at least 63 UK journalists have been arrested and/or charged by the Met police.
Both the scale of the various investigations, and the nature of the targets, are unprecedented – see complete table at the bottom of this article.
The arrest of a journalist for actions undertaken in the course of their job was previously a rare occurrence in this country (perhaps happening once a year at most). Now it is commonplace.
All arrests stem from the hacking scandal at the News of the World and the rock which was turned over by the dogged investigation of The Guardian’s Nick Davies.
News International and the Met Police perpetrated a cover-up form 2009 to 2011 in the face of mounting evidence from Davies that hacking extended beyond the original two convictions of Goodman and Mulcaire.
Since then, in order to make amends, the Met has carried out the biggest investigation in criminal history with the full co-operation of News International (Now News UK).
The hacking arrests began with the police’s review of the evidence seized from private investigator Glenn Mulcaire during the first hacking investigation in 2006.
Hacking suspects were also identified as a result of email evidence found in the News International archives and handed over to police.
Following the closure of the News of the World in July 2011 its parent company News Corp set up a Management and Standards Committee to purge the company of any other potential wrongdoing.
Its actions resulted in many more journalists, and their sources, being arrested for potentially illegal payments to public officials: police officers, health workers, soldiers and others.
In the course of the various police investigations new evidence came to light as a result of the questioning of suspects.
Dan Evans, who hacked voicemails for the Sunday Mirror between 2003 and 2005 and the News of the World from 2005 to 2010, escaped a prison sentence in July having given evidence against former colleagues.
Sources arrested as a result of evidence provided by News Corp may have also given evidence against journalists at other papers.
The result has been that a few journalists from non News UK titles have also been arrested.
In addition to investigations into voicemail hacking and payments to public officials, police have also investigated a few alleged cases of computer hacking and of taking information from stolen mobile phones.
But this Operation Tuleta investigation appears to have largely unravelled with most of the journalists arrested under this strand now in the clear.
Many of those arrested have had to wait a year, or even two years, for police to finally decide that they will face no action.
In one case, that of former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis, he spent 21 months on police bail only to be cleared, later questioned again and finally told last month he will face trial on suspicion of involvement in phone-hacking.
The initial police tactic of arresting journalists in dawn raids, searching their homes in front of distressed wives and children and taking them to a police station for questioning has given way to a softer approach.
Now journalists are more likely to be questioned under caution (with no public statement made).
When these are included, it is believed than more than 100 journalists have been questioned by police on suspicion of crimes.
Looking at the 63 journalists who we know have been arrested and/or charged with a crime:
- 28 are awaiting trial
- 1 has accepted a caution
- 1 had the charge dropped on health grounds
- 19 have been cleared (told they face no further action) after a period on police bail
- 5 have been convicted (with three jailed)
- 3 have been found not guilty by a jury
- 6 remain on police bail
The fact that only six individuals now apparently remain on bail suggests that the long police investigation into British journalism may be nearing its end, with the backlog finally being cleared.
But it is worth noting that in July, the Met police revealed that it still had more than 100 officers investigating journalists.
Those investigations are:
- Hacking: Operations Weeting and Pinetree (News of the World) and Golding (Trinity Mirror)
- Computer misuse: Sabinas, Carrizo and Kerville
- Computer hacking: Tuleta and Kalmyk
- Corruption of public officials: Elvedon
- Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice: Sacha
The arrested journalists by title: (this table was updated on 17 September 2014)
All UK journalists arrested and/or charged since April 2011
The table below lists all the journalists arrested and/or charged to date. Note: * means the individual skipped the arrest stage but was questioned and then charged, CPCJ stands for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, arrest date reads 'first arrested' because some have been arrested more than once.
|Ian Edmondson||NoW||Hacking, payments||05/04/2011||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Clive Goodman||NoW||Payments||08/07/2011||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Andy Coulson||NoW||Hacking, payments, perjury||08/07/2011||Yes||Guilty (hacking)|
|Neil Wallis||NoW||Hacking||14/07/2011||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Rebekah Brooks||NoW, Sun||Hacking, payments, CPCJ||17/07/2011||Yes||Not guilty|
|Stuart Kuttner||NoW||Hacking||02/08/2011||Yes||Not guilty|
|Dan Evans||NoW, Mirror||Hacking, payments, CPCJ||19/08/2011||Yes||Guilty|
|Jamie Pyatt||The Sun||Payments||04/11/2011||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Lucy Panton||NoW||Payments||15/12/2011||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Mike Sullivan||The Sun||Payments||28/01/2012||No||Cleared|
|Graham Dudman||The Sun||Payments||28/01/2012||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Fergus Shanahan||The Sun||Payments||28/01/2012||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Chris Pharo||The Sun||Payments||28/01/2012||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|John Sturgis||The Sun||Payments||11/02/2012||No||Cleared|
|Geoff Webster||The Sun||Payments||11/02/2012||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|John Kay||The Sun||Payments||11/02/2012||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Nick Parker||The Sun||Payments||11/02/2012||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Virginia Wheeler||The Sun||Payments||01/03/2012||Yes||Charges dropped health grounds|
|Duncan Larcombe||The Sun||Payments||19/04/2012||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Clodargh Hartley||The Sun||Payments||25/05/2012||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|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||Awaiting trial|
|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|
|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|
|John Coles||The Sun||Payments||19/09/2012||No||Cleared|
|Tom Wells||The Sun||Payments||19/09/2012||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Chris Pollard||The Sun||Handling stolen phone||20/09/2012||No||Cleared|
|Anthony France||The Sun||Payments||17/01/2013||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Jules Stenson||NoW||Hacking||13/02/2013||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|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||Awaiting trial|
|John Edwards||The Sun||Payments||21/06/2013||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|Ben O'Driscoll*||The Sun||Payments||12/09/2013||Yes||Awaiting trial|
|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|