Former News of the World entertainment reporter Sean Hoare has been found dead at his home in the U.K., the Guardian reports. Hoare was the first named journalist to accuse Andy Coulson of being aware of the hacking activities that went on at the tabloid.
Police would not confirm his identity, but said in a statement: “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.”
Hoare first worked with Coulson at the Sun, where he claimed to have played tape recordings of hacked messages for Coulson. Later, when the two were at News of the World, Hoare said he continued to inform Coulson of his hacking activities, and that Coulson “actively encouraged me to do it.”
Hoare made his original allegations in an interview with The New York Times this past September. He said that Coulson not only knew about the phone hacking, but that he even encouraged his staff to intercept the phone calls of celebrities in order to get exclusives. He later told the BBC that Coulson had personally asked him to tap into phone lines.
Last week, Hoare again spoke to the NYT, claiming that reporters at the tabloid paid off police officers to gain access to police technology that allowed them to locate people using their mobile phone signals. He also named a private investigator who he said had links with the News of the World, saying, “He may want to talk now because I think what you'll find now is a lot of people are going to want to cover their arse.”