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Stuart Kuttner cleared at hacking trial

    Stuart Kuttner
    Stuart Kuttner

    A mensch, a money maven, and a man diminished by illness - Stuart Kuttner was described in many ways during the phone hacking trial, but his acquittal this week on charges of conspiring to intercept telephone messages will bring him the most comfort by far.

    Character witnesses included former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, who told the Old Bailey: "Mr Kuttner is a man of integrity, and a man of deep loyalty to his paper... He is a Jew, I'm not sure how much a practising Jew [but] a man whose Jewish ethics went through his life."

    Sara Payne, whose daughter Sarah was murdered by a paedophile, leading to a long-running NotW campaign, said Kuttner was "everything my parents taught me about being a gentleman and having manners".

    The 74-year-old was an "old school" reporter turned newsroom veteran.

    As managing editor, Mr Kuttner had to account for the tabloid's £30 million-plus budget. He also maintained high-level contacts with police and politicians, and it was he who told Surrey police that the NotW had listened to murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's voicemails in 2002.

    Kuttner was absent from much of the eight-month trial and his ability to give evidence was severely diminished. He suffered two heart attacks and a stroke after retiring in 2009.

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