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News of the World journalists' computers were destroyed by 'putting them through a grinder and smashing them up'

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The phone hacking scandal has taken a new twist after it was revealed computers used by News of the World journalists were destroyed by putting them 'through a grinder'.

They were 'taken out and smashed up' last autumn at a time when News International was being sued over the illegal activity at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid.

The destruction of computers would have happened long after senior executives at the paper were made aware that phone hacking was not the work of just one 'rogue' reporter.

A legal opinion from Michael Silverleaf QC in 2008 warned there was 'overwhelming evidence' that senior journalists at the paper had made 'illegal enquiries.'

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