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Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson

News of the World hacking scandal whistle-blower found dead

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Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson

Sean Hoare a former News of the World reporter, the first journalist who revealed former News of the World editor Andy Coulson's part in the phone hacking scandal, has been found dead at his home.

 Hoare, a former showbiz reporter, worked under Coulson at the Sun and the News of the World before he was dismissed for alleged problems with drink and drugs.

Although local police in Hertfordshire would not confirm his identity is believed that he was found dead in his home in Watford. A statement issued by the police read "At 10.40am today [Monday 18 July] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for the welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street. Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

"The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."

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Hoare first told the New York Times that Coulson knew about the phone hacking of people in the public eye and victims of crimes with the hope of getting exclusive stories. Then speaking to the BBC some time later he said he was asked by the then-editor Coulson to tap into phones. Speaking to the PM program he said that fact that Coulson denied any knowledge of this was "a lie, it is simply a lie".

According to the Guardian newspaper reports, at the time, Coulson completely denied the allegations. He said that he had "never condoned the use of phone hacking and nor do I have any recollection of incidences where phone hacking took place".

Hoare admitted that he had been a close friend of Coulson's. He said Coulson had played him tape recording of hacked messages. He also said that Coulson actively encouraged Hoare to do it also.

Last year, in September, Hoare was interviewed, under caution, by the police over his claims about Coulson who was then the head of the Tory political parties communications. Hoare declined to make any comment.

Last week Hoare told the New York Times that the News of the World used police technology to locate people using cell phone signals. They paid off the police officers. This technique is called "pinging".

He told the Guardian that "within 15 to 30 minutes someone on the news desk would come back and say 'right that's where they are.'…You'd just go to the news desk and they'd just come back to you.

You don't ask any questions. You'd consider it a job done. The chain of command is one of absolute discipline and that's why I never bought into it, like with Andy saying he wasn't aware of it and all that. That's bollocks."

He had told the New York Times that he would stand by everything he said about "pinging".

Hoare also admitted that he had drink and drug dependency problems but said "that's irrelevant…There's more to come. This is not going to go away"

The former reporter had said that he hoped the hacking scandal would eventually lead to journalism in general being cleaned up. He also emphasized that he had not been paid to tell his story.

Also today, John Yates, the assistant commissioner of Scotland Yard, became the second top police official in two days to resign over the British phone-hacking scandal. Yates had been heavily criticized by British Parliament members for how he dealt with the hacking scandal.

On Sunday Sir Paul Stephenson, the head of Scotland Yard resigned saying that he had not been involved in any payoffs.

Today Rebekah Brook, former editor of the News of the World who resigned from the News Corp company last week has confirmed that she will attend tomorrow's British parliament committee meeting on the phone hacking scandal. She will appear to answer questions alongside News Corp head Rupert Murdoch and his son James.

She was arrested on Sunday with relation to the phone hacking scandal. She was questioned for 12 hours and then released. She will report back to the police in late October.

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