LONDON – As fallout continues from Britain’s tabloid phone-hacking scandal, former News of the World news editor Ian Edmondson was sentenced Friday to eight months in prison for conspiring to hack the phones of celebrities, politicians and royals.
Another former reporter from the tabloid has been found guilty of paying a prison official for information, the first conviction of a journalist after a police investigation into official corruption triggered by the hacking scandal.
Edmondson is the eighth journalist from the now-defunct Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World to be convicted over illegal eavesdropping.
He initially went on trial last year alongside colleagues including former editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, but was dropped as a defendant after a judge declared him unfit to stand trial.
He pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to intercept voicemails between 2000 and 2006.
Passing sentence at London’s Central Criminal Court, Judge John Saunders said Edmondson had suffered from depression and other medical problems and had lost his job and his reputation as a journalist.
“He has only himself to blame for that,” the judge said.
In a separate trial, another former News of the World reporter was convicted of paying a prison officer for stories about an imprisoned child-killer.
The prison officer and his ex-partner were also convicted of selling information about John Venables. When Venables was 10 in 1993, he and another boy killed toddler James Bulger, a case that remains notorious in Britain.
A court order had initially barred reporting the conviction of the journalist, who can’t be named for legal reasons. That order was lifted Friday. All three defendants will be sentenced later.
Another journalist, Tom Savage of the Daily Star Sunday, was acquitted at the same trial.
Murdoch shut down the News of the World in July 2011 after the revelation that it had hacked the phone of a 13-year-old murder victim.
The scandal triggered several police investigations in which dozens of journalists and officials have been arrested.