Murdoch Honcho Gets 18 Months
Andy Coulson could be out in 9 months
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2014 3:19 AM CDT
Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson arrives at the Old Bailey court to be sentenced, in London, Friday, July 4, 2014.   (AP Photo/PA, Stefan Rousseau)

(Newser) – "No one is above the law," said British Prime Minister David Cameron today in reaction to the sentence handed to former News of the World editor Andy Coulson—who went on to work for Cameron. Coulson was sentenced to 18 months in prison for participating in a phone-hacking conspiracy. The BBC reports that per sentencing rules, Coulson can be released "on license" in half that time. Three other former journalists and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire who had all pleaded guilty received shorter sentences.

Judge John Saunders acknowledged that "there will be those who will be outraged" that the sentences were so short, reports the AP. But he said the legal maximum for phone hacking was two years in prison, regardless of the number of victims. Saunders said he was reducing Coulson's sentence from the maximum to reflect aspects of "good character" he had shown in helping others, and because the case had taken so long to get to court.