The editor of a U.K. newspaper says he fears that the senior judge tasked with investigating Britain's scandal-tarred press is preparing to deliver a scathing indictment of the industry.

The Independent's Chris Blackhurst told BBC radio that documents he'd recently received from Lord Justice Brian Leveson were so harshly worded he was shocked.

Leveson was charged with investigating Britain's media in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, which exposed widespread illegal behavior across the industry.

The judge has promised to give confidential warnings to anyone he might criticize in his final report. Leveson's recommendations aren't binding but will likely have a major impact on Britain's media landscape.

No date is set for the report's release, but Blackhurst said Wednesday the warning he'd seen "throws the book at the industry."