Published on 22 Jan 2013 Sections

Journalist and ex-PC face charges over payments

A former police officer and a Sun journalist face criminal charges over alleged corrupt payments for information including details of the death of a 15-year-old girl.

Ex-Metropolitan Police constable Paul Flattley and the Sun’s defence editor Virginia Wheeler will be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

It is alleged that the officer was paid at least £4,000 in cheques and £2,450 in cash in exchange for information, including details linked to the teenager’s death.

Principal legal adviser to the director of public prosecutions, Alison Levitt QC, said: “We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence, that former Metropolitan Police Service police constable Paul Flattley and Virginia Wheeler, a journalist at the Sun newspaper, should be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

The Sun newspaper and New Scotland Yard (Getty)

Information about ‘tragic death’

“It is alleged that between 25 May 2008 and 13 September 2011 Flattley, who at the time was a serving police constable with the Metropolitan Police Service, was paid at least £4,000 (in the form of cheques) and £2,450 (in cash) by the Sun newspaper in exchange for information provided in breach of the terms of his employment.

“The information provided included information about the tragic death of a 15-year-old girl, as well as details about both suspects and victims of accidents, incidents and crimes. This included, but was not limited to, information about high-profile individuals and those associated with them.”

The charges are being brought as a result of Operation Elveden, Scotland Yard’s inquiry into alleged corrupt payments to public officials.

So far, 56 people have been arrested as part of the inquiry, six have been charged, and two – a retired police officer and a former journalist – have been told they will face no further action.

In a separate case, Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn, 53, was found guilty of misconduct in public office earlier this month for offering to sell information to the News of the World.

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