News Int security guard charged in hacking inquiry

A former News International security guard is to be charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in relation to the phone-hacking inquiry, the Crown Prosecution Service said today.

Lee Sandell will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court tomorrow after CPS lawyers decided it was in the public interest to bring charges and there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

Sandell is the seventh defendant to be charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in relation to events in July last year after police reopened the inquiry into allegations of phone hacking by journalists at the now defunct News of the World newspaper.

Former NoW editor Rebekah Brooks has already been charged along with her husband, racehorse trainer Charles Brooks, her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, head of security at News International Mark Hanna, Mrs Brooks's chauffeur Paul Edwards and security consultant Daryl Jorsling.

Sandell is accused along with Mr and Mrs Brooks, Hanna, Edwards and Jorsling of conspiring to conceal documents, computers and other electronic devices from detectives between 15 and 19 July.

Mr and Mrs Brooks, Carter, Hanna, Edwards and Jorsling are also charged with conspiring to conceal material from police between 6 and 19 July last year.

In addition, Rebekah Brooks and Carter are charged with conspiring to permanently remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International between 6 and 9 July 6 last year.

Alison Levitt QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, announced the charge against Sandell in a statement, saying: "We have concluded, having carefully considered the file of evidence, that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to charge Mr Sandell with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice."

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