London: A former investigations editor for the 'Sunday Mirror' has admitted hacking into phone messages dating back to 2001, becoming the first employee of the UK newspaper to confess to the crime.
The Sunday tabloid's former investigations editor, Graham Johnson, 46, confessed to intercepting communications in the course of transmission without lawful authority.
Westminster Magistrates' Court was told that Johnson, who will be sentenced at the Old Bailey court in London on November 27, voluntarily contacted police in 2013 about intercepting voice-mail messages in 2001.
He worked at the 'Sunday Mirror' between 1997 and 2005.
Johnson came forward in March 2013, after hacking a phone to investigate whether a television soap star was having an affair with a gangster in autumn 2001.
The court heard that he had been "shown by a senior person in a supervisory capacity how to access voice-mails" and
that he was not aware that it was a crime at the time.
He confessed to a "short and intense" period of hacking lasting three to seven days.
Granting unconditional bail, the magistrate said he deserved great credit for turning himself in.
In September, the Trinity Mirror Group admitted for the first time that some of its journalists were involved in phone hacking.
Former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson, entertainer Shane Richie and actor Christopher Eccleston are among those who received compensation from the newspaper group for settling the hacking charges.
The group publishes titles including the 'Daily Mirror', 'Sunday Mirror' and 'Sunday People'.
Earlier in July, Andy Coulson, a former aide of British Prime Minister David Cameron and editor at the News of the World newspaper, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for his involvement in the phone-hacking scandal that rocked Rupert Murdoch owned newspaper.
Members of the British royal family, celebrities and crime victims were among some of the victims of hacking at the now defunct News of the World newspaper.