A former journalist at the News of the World who admitted listening to more than 1,000 hacked voicemail messages has been spared a "significant" jail sentence because of what the judge said was his unique role in giving the prosecution evidence in the trial of Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and others.

Dan Evans, a features writer at the now-defunct tabloid under Coulson, told the phone-hacking trial that the practice of eavesdropping on others' voicemails was so endemic that even "the office cat" knew about it. He received a 10-month sentence, suspended for a year, and 200 hours of community service.

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