Teesside lecturer arrested in phone hacking inquiry

A senior lecturer at Teesside University is reported to have been arrested as part of Operation Weeting, the ongoing Metropolitan Police investigation into phone hacking.

November 30, 2011

Bethany Usher, senior lecturer in media and journalism at Teesside, is understood to have been arrested this morning.

Althought the police have not named the 31-year-old woman involved, it is believed that Ms Usher has been arrested in relation to her former role as a reporter at the now defunct News of the World, where she worked from 2006 to 2007.

She was arrested during that time on suspicion of falsifying details in a job application, believed to have been to the Royal Household.

Ms Usher tweeted during yesterday’s hearing of the Leveson inquiry, which is looking into media ethics, in response to testimony from Paul McMullan, a former deputy features editor at the News of the World.

She said in her tweets that the work culture that Mr McMullan described was “not representative” of her experience, adding: “Just a shame that decent journalists feel need to get out of tabloids. Academia is far nicer.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “Officers from Operation Weeting have this morning arrested a woman in connection with conspiring to intercept communications.

“The woman, 31, is now in custody at a police station in Northumbria.”

A spokesman for Teesside said it “would be inappropriate to comment on any ongoing police investigation”.

sarah.cunnane@tsleducation.com

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