[JURIST] A UK judge on Monday sentenced [sentencing remarks, PDF] former News of the World features editor Jules Stenson to a four month suspended prison sentence for his role in hacking the phones of celebrities and government officials. Stenson pleaded guilty [Telegraph report] to charges of violating the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act [text] last December. The judge said Stenson received a lighter sentence than others convicted in the scandal primarily because of his guilty plea. Stenson was the last journalist [BBC report] to be sentenced in connection with the phone hacking scandal.
News of the World was a Sunday tabloid first published in London in 1843 [BBC report]. It was a very popular paper averaging about 2,812,005 copies per week at the time of its discontinuation in 2011 with an unorthodox, but successful, style of journalism. However, in 2007 accusations of phone hacking erupted leading to the conviction of the royal editor of the paper, Clive Goodman, and hacker Glen Mulcaire were convicted of tapping the phones of royal aides [The Guardian report, BBC report]. Over the next few years it was discovered that the phone tapping was much more far-reaching and in 2011 the former editor of the newspaper, Rebekah Brooks, was arrested by UK police for charges related to a phone hacking scandal [JURIST report] and the paper was eventually discontinued.