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The Death of Sean Hoare


John Simkin
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Sean Hoare, the former News of the World reporter and whistleblower, died of natural causes, according to the coroner conducting the inquest into his death.

Hertfordshire coroner Edward Thomas said that Hoare, who suffered from alcoholic liver disease and whose body was found at his home in Watford on 18 July, used alcohol "as a crutch" to cope with the stress generated by the phone-hacking scandal. He is thought to have been dead for some time.

Thomas added that Hoare died of natural causes and said the journalist had used drink to help him cope with the pressure "generated by breaking the News International story".

A postmortem into Hoare's death in July found no evidence of third-party involvement and concluded that his death was non-suspicious.

However, at the time Hertfordshire police said they were waiting for the results of toxicology tests and were continuing to examine "health problems" identified during the autopsy.

Hoare was the first named journalist to allege that the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking carried out by his staff.

He worked for the Sun and News of the World with Coulson, before being dismissed for drink and drugs problems. He had spoken openly to a number of news organisations about the practice of phone hacking.

Hoare is understood to have lived in a first-floor flat in Watford with his wife, Joanne.

He returned to the spotlight at the height of the phone-hacking scandal in July, shortly before his death, after he told the New York Times that reporters at the NoW were able to use police technology to locate people via mobile phone signals in exchange for payments to officers. He said journalists were able to buy mobile-phone tracking data from police for £300.

Hoare had also given further details about "pinging" to Guardian journalists in July.

He repeatedly expressed the hope that the hacking scandal would lead to journalism "being cleaned up", and said he had decided to blow the whistle on the activities of some of his former NoW colleagues with that aim in mind.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/nov/23/sean-hoare-news-of-the-world

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