And now a journalist from the Mirror has pleaded guilty to phone hacking, the Guardian reports.
“Graham Johnson, the former investigations editor of the Sunday Mirror, has pleaded guilty to phone hacking, becoming the first former employee of the Trinity Mirror title to do so,” according to the Guardian.
The Mirror declined to comment to iMediaEthics about the plea. Johnson declined to comment to iMediaEthics until after the sentencing.
As iMediaEthics has written, the Mirror has become part of the phone hacking scandal in past months as the company has paid out and accepted responsibility for hacking. In September, the Mirror paid 10 victims and “admitted liability” to four of those victims.
Johnson was charged with hacking last month, as iMediaEthics reported at the time. Technically another Mirror reporter has pleaded guilty to hacking at the Mirror — Dan Evans. Evans pleaded guilty and was convicted of hacking at both the Sunday Mirror and the News of the World.
Johnson voluntarily confessed this spring after journalists at the Mirror were arrested for hacking. He admitted that he hacked for about a week back in 2001. He said he didn’t know it was against the law.
“At the time he did not know that this was illegal but after hacking the phone for less than a week, he discontinued the hacking because he did not feel it was right,” his lawyer Avtar Bhatoa said, according to the Telegraph.
Johnson said he was taught how to hack by someone who was a “senior person in a supervisory capacity,” the Telegraph reported.
He turned to hacking when he was looking into “a soap star’s alleged relationship with a gangland boss,” the Independent reported.
The judge, district magistrate Quentin Purdy, commented “Great credit comes your way for your plea of guilty today and even more so for literally turning yourself in … and throwing yourself to the mercy of the system.”
Johnson will be sentenced Nov. 27.