Ex-security guard charged in News International probe

Scotland Yard
Image caption Met Police are investigating many aspects of phone hacking allegations

An ex-security guard for News International has been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in connection with the Met Police's phone hacking investigation.

Lee Sandell will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

He was the sixth defendant to be charged over events in July last year, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Ex-News International boss Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charles have also been charged.

Mr Sandell, 26, from Caterham, Surrey, was arrested in July last year. He was charged at Sutton police station on Wednesday.

In a statement Alison Levitt QC, principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "The CPS received a file of evidence in relation to Lee Sandell from the Metropolitan Police Service on 9 August 2012.

"This file of evidence arose from Operation Sacha, the investigation into allegations of perverting the course of justice. Mr Sandell was employed by News International in a security role.

"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."

Mr Sandell will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday 13 September, the start of the prosecution process.

Mr Sandell faces the same accusation as Rebekah Brooks, her husband Charlie Brooks, Mark Hanna, Paul Edwards and Daryl Jorsling.

The charge says that the six conspired to do an act or series of acts which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice, namely to conceal documents, computers and other electronic devices, from officers of the Metropolitan Police who were investigating allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and the Sun newspapers. The allegations relate to events between 15 and 18 July 2011.

Rebekah and Charlie Brooks are separately charged along with Cheryl Carter, Mark Hanna, Paul Edwards, Daryl Jorsling with allegedly concealing material from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Ms Brooks and Cheryl Carter are also charged with conspiring "permanently to remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International" between 6th July and 9th July 2011.