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Lecturer faces no further action on phone-hacking

A journalism lecturer arrested over phone-hacking last week will face no further action, police have confirmed.

Bethany Usher, a former News of the World journalist now lecturing at Teesside University, had denied any involvement in the scandal which led to the closure of the Murdoch-owned title.

Ms Usher, who started her career at the Sunderland Echo, had been arrested as part of the Operation Weeting inquiry last week.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement today:  “On 30 November 2011 officers from Operation Weeting arrested a woman in Northumberland on suspicion of conspiring to intercept voicemail messages, contrary to Section1 (1) Criminal Law Act 1977.

“The woman was taken to a police station in Northumberland and initially released on bail to return to a police station in Northumberland on a date in late March 2012 pending further inquiries.

“She has since been released no further action on 7 December.”

Ms Usher said in a statement released via The Guardian:  “The past week has been very difficult but I am pleased I have now been cleared of any wrongdoing. I would like to thank the investigating officers involved for the professional way they have dealt with the inquiries.

“I would also like to thank my family, friends and legal representatives for their support.”