by a Newsnet reporter
Sean Hoare, former News of the World showbiz reporter, has been found dead in his Watford home. Mr Hoare was the first journalist to make a public allegation that Andy Coulson, former NotW editor, was complicit in the phone hacking scandal. Mr Hoare made the claims in September last year in an interview with the New York Times newspaper.
In the interview, Mr Hoare claimed that he had discussed phone hacking with Andy Coulson who was then editor of the paper, and claimed that he had played him tapes of hacked messages. While he was a reporter with the paper Hoare asserted that he continued to keep Coulson informed of his actions, saying that the editor “actively encouraged me to do it”.
Mr Hoare’s claims were passed to Scotland Yard by the New York Times, but according to the Metropolitan police Mr Hoare declined to give evidence.
Mr Coulson strongly denies any knowledge of illegal phone hacking during his stewardship of the paper.
Mr Hoare had previously been sacked from the News of the World due to his problems with drink and drugs. According to local sources his battle with drink and drugs continued, and is thought may be the ultimate cause of his death.
According to a statement released by Hertfordshire police: “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.”