Brooks and husband appear in court


International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband Charlie appeared in court today on charges relating to the phone hacking scandal.

Mrs Brooks (44) of Churchill, Oxfordshire, and Mr Brooks (49) appeared at Southwark Crown Court for a preliminary hearing.

She faces three charges of conspiring to pervert the course of justice, while her husband is charged with one count of the same offence.

Mrs Brooks is accused of removing boxes of material from the News International archive and trying to conceal documents, computers and other material from "Operation Weeting", Scotland Yard’s inquiry into the phone hacking scandal.

Judge Adrian Fulford said it is premature to set a trial date until other legal investigations are resolved and said prosecutors should indicate whether she faces additional charges by the end of next month.

Also at the court today were Mrs Brooks’ former personal assistant Cheryl Carter (48) of Mildmay Road, Chelmsford, Essex; head of security at News International Mark Hanna (49) of Glynswood Road, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire; Mrs Brooks’ chauffeur Paul Edwards (47) of Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green, east London; and security consultant Daryl Jorsling (39) of Vale Road, Aldershot, Hampshire.

They all face a single charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Judge Fulford scheduled another hearing for Mrs Brooks and five other defendants on September 26th.

Mrs Brooks has also been arrested in the initial phone hacking case and a related investigation into bribery at News Corp's Sun newspaper. She has not been charged in either of those cases.