'News of the World' Whistleblower Found Dead

Reporter Sean Hoare was the first person to allege that Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff.

LONDON -- Reporter Sean Hoare, the first person to blow the whistle on News of the World editor Andy Coulson for the paper's phone hacking scandal, was found dead at his home in Watford, England on Monday.

Hoare was an entertainment reporter for News of the World and The Sun. Police are investigating the cause of death but are not currently treating it as "suspicious."

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Hertfordshire police said in a statement to The Guardian, "The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."

The police would not confirm the man's identity but did confirm a man's body had been found at his address in Watford just outside London.

Hoare told the New York Times that Coulson was well aware that News of the World hacked into phones and even encouraged his staff to tap celebrity calls.

Coulson was arrested July 8 in London in relation to the illegal phone hacking activities at the newspaper.

Hoare was dismissed from News of the World in 2005 for drug and alcohol problems. He told the New York Times that his personal problems were "irrelevant" to the paper's scandal and "there's more to come. This is not going away."

He told The Guardian the reason for his whistle blowing was in the hope that journalism in general would be cleaned up as a result.

In September last year, Hoare was interviewed under caution by police over his claims that the former Tory communications chief asked him to hack into phones when he was editor of the paper, but declined to make any comment.

Sofia M. Fernandez contributed to this report.