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Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

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CPS decides no charges should be brought over hacking of Darwin emails

18/03/2013

Malcolm McHaffie, Deputy Head of Special Crime at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "On 21 November 2012 Cleveland Police provided the CPS with a file of evidence in relation to Gerald Tubb, a Sky News journalist who, it was alleged, had accessed the email accounts of Anne and John Darwin. The Darwins were convicted of insurance fraud in 2008 over the faking of John Darwin's death.

"In deciding whether any prosecutions should be brought, we carefully considered all the evidence in accordance with the Director of Public Prosecution's guidelines for prosecutors on cases affecting the media. In accordance with these guidelines, provided there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, the critical question prosecutors must ask is whether the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the overall criminality.

"On the evidence currently available it is not possible to ascertain whether the potential offence of unlawful interception of a communication was committed in the UK or the US. Although this may warrant further investigation, it has been decided under section 4.2 of the Code for Crown Prosecutors that further investigations are not required as, in accordance with the DPP's guidelines, we do not consider that any potential prosecution would be in the public interest.

"Having considered the factors set out in the guidelines on cases affecting the media, it is our view that the evidence indicates that the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the potential overall criminality, should an offence be proved. In reaching this decision, we took into account that the emails were accessed with a view to showing that a criminal offence had been committed and that a number of the same emails were subsequently lawfully obtained by the police and used by the prosecution at the criminal trial of Anne Darwin."

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