Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter who was the first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead, the Guardian has learned.
Hoare, who worked on the Sun and the News of the World with Coulson before being dismissed for drink and drugs problems, is said to have been found dead at his Watford home.
Hertfordshire police would not confirm his identity, but the force said in a statement: "At 10.40am today [Monday 18 July] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for 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 made his claims in a New York Times investigation into the phone-hacking allegations at the News of the World.
He told that newspaper that not only did Coulson know of the phone-hacking, but that he actively encouraged his staff to intercept the phone calls of celebrities in the pursuit of exclusives.
Posted by Melissa McEwan at Monday, July 18, 2011
Oh dear. Foul play is not suspected at this time, although police are investigating: