Cheam private investigator Glenn Mulcaire has been spared jail despite his part in the phone hacking scandal.

Mulcaire, of Alberta Avenue, was contracted by the News of the World to hack phones - including that of murdered school girl Milly Dowler.

The 43-year-old father-of-five pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiring to hack phones last year but was forced to wait until today to be sentenced due to the trial of his fellow hacking conspirators.

Judge Mr Justice Saunders handed Mulcaire, who ran his private investigator business from a Sutton industrial estate, a suspended six month sentence and ordered him to do 200 hours of community service.

Mulcaire was sentenced alongside former News of the World news editor Andy Coulson who received an 18-month jail term. The Judge referred to Mulcaire as "the lucky one" in reference to him having already served a four month jail term in relation to phone hacking in 2007 meaning he could not be jailed for those crimes again.

Mulcaire, a keen footballer who scored AFC Wimbledon's first ever goal and played for Coulsdon Town FC, used a phone line attached to a cash point in a Sutton convenience store to hack phones and had a sophisticated set up in his base featuring white boards that detailed his activities.