Sky News admits hacking canoe man's emails

Sky News has admitted authorising one of its journalists to illegally access the emails of John and Anne Darwin.

Sky News statement

Sky News is committed to the highest editorial standards. Like other news organisations, we are acutely aware of the tensions that can arise between the law and responsible investigative journalism.

In the 2008 case of Anne Darwin, Sky News met with Cleveland Police and provided them with emails offering new information relevant to Mrs Darwin's defence. Material provided by Sky News was used in the successful prosecution and the police made clear after the trial that this information was pivotal to the case.

– John Ryley, Head of Sky News

We stand by these actions as editorially justified and in the public interest. We do not take such decisions lightly or frequently. They require finely balanced judgement based on individual circumstances and must always be subjected to the proper editorial controls.

– John Ryley, Head of Sky News

Sky News admits John Darwin email hacking

Sky News has admitted illegally hacking into the emails of John Darwin, the man who faked his own death in a canoeing accident off Seaton Carew.

The broadcaster says it authorised a journalist to access Darwin's Yahoo! account because it was 'in the public interest'.

It says the evidence it discovered was handed to police, who used it in the successful fraud prosecution of Darwin and his wife Anne in 2008. They were both jailed after claiming thousands of pounds in life assurance payments in the scam.

Sky News is part of BSkyB, which is 39% owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. His now-defunct newspaper, the News of the World, is being investigated over allegations of illegal phone hacking.

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