(CNN) -

Britain's phone-hacking scandal has seen former tabloid editor Andy Coulson move from the newsroom into the full glare of its spotlight.

Coulson was editor of the News of the World when evidence of illegal eavesdropping at the newspaper first emerged in 2005.

As the fallout worsened, accusations of Coulson's involvement put even Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron - for whom Coulson later worked as communications director - on the defensive.

On June 23, Coulson was found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones in a trial that opened last October at the Old Bailey in London, the UK's Press Association news agency reported.

The trial saw prosecutors sift through Coulson's personal life as well as his professional career, with allegations, by prosecutors, that he and co-defendant Rebekah Brooks carried out a six-year affair being cited as evidence of their level of trust.

Coulson began his career in journalism at The Basildon Echo in 1986, moving to the Sun in 1989 and the Daily Mail in 1993.

In 1994, Coulson returned to The Sun, editing its "Bizarre" section, which focuses on showbiz news and gossip. Four years later he was promoted to the position of Associate Editor.

He joined News of the World as its Deputy Editor in 2000, rising to the position of editor when Rebekah Brooks took the role of Chief Executive at News International.

In January 2007, Coulson resigned from the News of the World after its then-royal editor, Clive Goodman, and a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, were jailed for hacking into voice-mail messages left for royal aides.

Coulson said he knew nothing about the hacking but resigned because he was editor of the paper at the time.

In July of that year, then-opposition leader Cameron hired Coulson as his director of communications. Cameron became British prime minister in 2010, and Coulson moved with him to Downing Street.

In January 2011, Coulson resigned as Downing Street spin doctor as coverage of the phone hacking scandal broadened. He insisted he was innocent but said he had become a distraction for the government.

The original police investigation into phone-hacking had ended with Goodman and Mulcaire's convictions, but reports had continued to surface of the "dark arts" of the tabloid newsroom and a "culture of phone hacking." Police reopened their investigation the same month Coulson stepped down.

In April 2011 News of the World officially apologized for hacking into voice mails from 2004 to 2006.

The scandal exploded in July with the revelation that one of the hacking victims was Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old British girl whose phone was hacked after she disappeared in 2002. She was later found murdered.


Days later, Coulson was arrested in connection with allegations of phone hacking and corruption.

"I came in today voluntarily as I have been offering to do in the last few months," Coulson told reporters outside Lewisham Police station at the time. "There is an awful lot I would like to say but I can't."

The scandal prompted questions over the British Prime Minister David Cameron's judgment in hiring Coulson.

Cameron went on the defensive at a Downing Street news conference saying: "The decision to hire him was mine, and mine alone."

He said he gave Coulson a second chance after receiving assurances that he had not been involved in wrongdoing at the newspaper.

Questioned at the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics the following May, Coulson said Goodman and Mulcaire's phone-hacking convictions did come up in discussions with senior party members before he was offered the job.

He told the inquiry he had told them and Prime Minister Cameron that he knew nothing about the practice of hacking under his leadership of the paper.

He also denied he was hired because of his links to News International [since rebranded News UK], the British arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which runs the UK's biggest selling daily tabloid, The Sun.

Coulson said he had explained to Cameron and then-shadow chancellor George Osborne that his connections would not guarantee the backing of Murdoch's papers, and that they should reach out to a wide range of news outlets.