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Andy Coulson will wear electronic tag for four months

Andy Coulson will have to wear an electronic tag until he has served half of his full sentence as a condition of his early release, it is understood.

The disgraced former Number 10 spin doctor has left Hollesley Bay open prison after 20 weeks of his 18-month sentence and will wear the tag for 130 days.

Former tabloid editor Andy Coulson was jailed in July after an eight-month trial at London's Old Bailey. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The ex-News of the World editor was previously held at HMP Belmarsh in south east London before switching jails in September.

The Ministry of Justice declined to comment on Coulson's arrangement but said inmates can be released for home detention before they have served half of their term.

Public protection is our first priority. Only prisoners who pass a strict risk assessment can be released on home detention curfew (HDC).

Offenders on HDC are subject to strict licence conditions and can be recalled to prison if they breach them.

– Ministry of Justice spokesperson

Prisoners can be considered for HDC if they are serving a sentence of more than three months and less than four years and have served a quarter of their sentence.

Andy Coulson leaves jail after serving 20 weeks

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has been released from prison after being jailed for conspiracy to hack phones, ITV News understands.

Andy Coulson was found guilty in June of conspiring to intercept phone messages while in charge of the News of the World. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The 46-year-old left Hollesley Bay in Suffolk by car this morning after serving 20 weeks of the 18-month sentence he received in July.

Coulson, who also formerly worked as director of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron, will reportedly be made to wear an electronic tag as a condition of his early release.

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Report: Andy Coulson moved to open prison

Former Number 10 spokesman Andy Coulson has been moved to an open prison, according to journalist Neville Thurlbeck:

Thurlbeck was jailed for phone hacking with his former editor Coulson and three others at the Old Bailey on July 4. He served 37 days of his six month sentence.

Coulson's former news editor jailed for six months

News of the World's ex-news editor Greg Miskiw was handed a six months jail sentence today for being complicit in industrial scale phone-hacking.

News of the World's ex-news editor Greg Miskiw Credit: PA

The 64-year old pleaded guilty to conspiring to hack phones last year.

The court was told how Mr Miskiw organised the newspaper's contract with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who was sentenced today to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, plus 200 hours unpaid community work.

Suspended jail service for former NotW news editor

Former News of the World journalist James Weatherup was jailed for four months suspended for 12 months for conspiring to hack phones.

The former news editor was also ordered to do 200 hours unpaid community work.

Former News of the World journalist James Weatherup Credit: PA

Mr Weatherup, 58, declined to comment on the verdict as he left the courtroom.

According to notes presented during to the court, Mr Weatherup tasked a private detective working for the newspaper 157 times.

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Hacking private detective gets suspended sentence

Private detective Glenn Mulcaire will not go to jail despite admitting to his role in the phone hacking at News of the World newspaper.

Private detective Glenn Mulcaire Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Mr Mulcaire pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiring to hack phones last year.

The judge described Mr Mulcaire, 43, of Sutton, south London, as "the lucky one", saying it would be wrong to jail him again after he already served a sentence in 2006 when he was first convicted of phone hacking.

The judge sentenced him to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, plus 200 hours unpaid community work.

Miliband: Coulson sentence a verdict on PM's judgment

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the phone hacking case amounted to a verdict on the judgment of the Prime Minister.

"My thoughts today are with the victims of phone hacking, the victims of Andy Coulson's behaviour," he said.

Labour party leader Ed Miliband Credit: PA

"I think it's right that justice has been done. I think, once again, it throws up very serious questions about David Cameron's judgment in bringing a criminal into the heart of Downing Street despite repeated warnings," Mr Miliband said.

"This is a verdict on Andy Coulson's criminal behaviour but it is also a verdict on David Cameron's judgment," he said.

Judge: Milly Dowler phone hacking 'unforgivable'

Phone hacking judge Mr Justice Saunders has attacked the ''unforgivable'' actions of the News of the World in hacking the phone girl of murdered school girl Milly Dowler.

Murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's voicemail was hacked. Credit: Surrey Police/PA Archive

The judge accused the paper, and its then-deputy editor Andy Coulson, of chasing newspaper sales by withholding information about her disappearance from Surrey detectives until their potential scoop hit a dead end.

The former Number 10 spin doctor has been jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of plotting to hack phones while in charge of the paper.

Hacked Off: Sentencing is the 'beginning of the process'

Hacked Off, the group campaigning for a free and accountable press, said the sentencing today of Andy Coulson, Greg Miskiw, Neville Thurlbeck, James Weatherup and Glenn Mulcaire, is "only the beginning."

It has taken far too long for the thousands of innocent victims of this industrial-scale criminal conspiracy to see its perpetrators brought to justice. It is only the beginning of the process. Those victims will insist that no stone is left unturned to get to the full truth of what happened - no matter how high up the scandal went. We now need a proper independent and effective press regulator that actually works for victims and the public in preventing this sort of institutional disregard for the rights of others.

– Hacked Off Executive Director Joan Smith
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