UK

The News Of The World Article That Brought Down Fleet Street

25/06/2014 14:06 BST | Updated 26/06/2014 17:59 BST

It had all the makings of a Hollywood script with the A-list star-power to match, but the phone hacking verdicts bring to an end one of the most high profile and complicated cases in English legal history.

The eight-month trial, which lifted the lid on an affair between former editor of The News Of The World (NoTW) Rebekah Brooks and her deputy, and later successor, Andy Coulson, thrust into the open sleazy tabloid tactics and stunned the world with revelations about the ruthlessness of Britain's press.

But how did a seemingly innocent article on page 32 of the NoTW in 2005 ultimately lead to the biggest scandal ever in British media, shuttering Rupert Murdoch's first ever UK newspaper and bringing down two of the most powerful people on both Fleet and Downing Street?

The Huffington Post UK explains how and why the scandal developed, who was convicted and acquitted in a string of charges relating to phone hacking, corruption and perverting the course of justice - and what the case means for the future.

It all started with a 'snake in the grass' and a royal football injury...

The Phone Hacking Scandal

THE TRIAL BEGINS: From The Newsroom To The Courtroom

In October 2013, the eight-month trial of eight defendants begins. Their charges are:

Rebekah Brooks: two counts of conspiring to pervert the the course of justice, two of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office and one count of conspiring to intercept communications.

Andy Coulson: one count of conspiring to intercept communications and two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

Brooks' husband Charlie Brooks: one count of conspiring to pervert the course of justice

Clive Goodman: two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office

Cheryl Carter, Brooks' PA: one count of conspiring to pervert the course of justice

Mark Hanna, Head of Security at News International: one count of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Ex-NoTW managing editor Stuart Kuttner: one count of conspiring to intercept communications

Former NoTW news editor Ian Edmondson is also charged but he is discharged in December, having been deemed too unwell to continue. He will face a fresh trial later.

A LAWYER BLOGS: The Legal Legacy Of The Phone Hacking Trial

The Phone Hacking Scandal

The jury convicts Andy Coulson of phone hacking. They fail to reach verdicts regarding two charges of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office against Coulson and Goodman.

The jurors return not guilty verdicts on all the other counts.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT:

The Verdicts