I don't think I've ever been more appalled reading a news story than I have been today. The background of the story appears to have been running for as long as I can remember - the BBC have a handy timeline. I haven't felt the need to comment before, as it's pretty cut and dry - what they did was terribly wrong, but I always thought it would turn out to be a bit like the MP's expenses case ('everyone was at it') with all but the most serious players getting away with it and though a serious crime, it is only conspiracy to intercept communications or something like that. I am not playing down the seriousness of the crime to those effected.
Today however it was taken to a whole new level. I could hardly believe what I was reading when I saw that allegedly The News Of The World had not hacked into Milly Dowler's mobile phone (reported here in the Guardian and Independent) but also deleted messages in order to free up additional space in her voicemail for more to be left.
This is directly interfering with a police investigation - potentially deleting key evidence and as such any person involved should be charged facing full criminal charges - perverting the course of justice.
I really hope a full investigation is launched into the paper - I for one don't see how their position is still tenable in the eyes of the regulatory authorities, I also fear that this may just be scraping the surface for their interference in ongoing criminal investigations. I hope (assuming this is true) that the book is thrown at everyone involved. At the time Rebekah Brooks was editor and Andy Coulson was her number two. I really hope David Cameron's personal relationships with these two doesn't affect any possible investigation.
I think I now need to go and calm down.