Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World and David Cameron's former chief press secretary has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for conspiring to hack mobile phones.
Four other former News of the World employees, who pleaded guilty, were sentenced today:
Before handing down the sentences, the hacking trial judge, Mr Justice Saunders, gave some scathing comments on the defendants' conduct at the News of the World.
the judge pointed out that this wasn't just about celebrities, mentioning that News of the World journalists hacking the phone of Laura Rooney, who simply shared a name with the footballer, Wayne.
He went on to say that doctors and people working in clinics were targeted. He said that intensely personal messages "becoming front page exclusives... creating an undercurrent of mistrust among family and friends".
However, he added that rich and famous people were afforded the exact same legal protection from such intrusion.
All the defendants knew their actions were contrary to the Press Complaints Commission Editors' Code, "and knew it was morally wrong," he said. "Not only is ignorance of the law no defence, it provides little mitigation."
On the Milly Dowler case – the hacking of the murdered schoolgirl's mobile phone started the entire process that led to this trial – Mr Justice Saunders called the News of the World's delay in telling police what they learned from listening to her voicemail "unforgiveable".
"Their true motivation was not to act in the best interests of the child ... but to sell newspapers," he said.
But the judge, in a canny analysis of the tabloid market in the last decade, said that phone hacking wasn't the source of all News of the World's journalism but something that was used "to maintain their competitive edge".
In his comments, the judge admitted that prior to having their professional reputations destroyed, the defendants were "distinguished journalists who achieved a great deal without resorting to phone hacking".