Hacking Sentencing Remarks In Full

So now, the Prime Ministers Media Liar is jailed.

Here are Mr Justice Saunder's sentencing remarks in full.

Mail Online
By Press Association
4 July 2014

"Parliament has decided that it is a criminal offence to access the voicemails of other people without their consent or an order of the court. Parliament has decided that the offence applies to members of the press in the same way as it does to all other citizens. This law provides the same protection to all citizens including those who, for one reason or another, are in the public eye. Parliament set the maximum sentence for the offence of intercepting communications at 2 years imprisonment and Parliament has decided that the same maximum sentence applies to an offence of conspiracy which can cover, as it does in this case, a very large number of individual offences.

"My function is to pass sentences which reflect the criminality of the defendants as defined by that law and are within the range of sentences prescribed by Parliament. I take into account the effect on those whose phones were hacked and those whose messages were intercepted; what the defendants got out of their crimes and all proper matters of mitigation. I also have to do justice between defendants. To assist me in that, I consider previous relevant decisions of the court so that, as far as possible, there is consistency in sentencing. I then pass what it is the least possible sentence which properly reflects those factors.

"I have set all this out because I have no doubt that there will comments about the sentences that I pass. There will be those who will be outraged that I haven't passed sentences well in excess of the permitted maximum and there will be those that think that it shouldn't be a crime for the press to intrude into the lives of the famous and that the legislation and this prosecution is in some way an attack on the freedom of the press to carry out their vital role as public watchdogs. People are perfectly entitled to comment. All I can ask is that the comment is informed and recognises the parameters which govern my role as the sentencer.

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