Former North London prison officer pleads guilty to selling stories to Daily Mirror

A former prison officer is facing a possible jail sentence himself for selling story tips to the Daily Mirror. (Picture: Shutterstock)

Joseph de Souza, 51, from Holloway, north London, pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office during a hearing at the Old Bailey.

Between 1 February 2007 and 12 June 2009 de Souza entered into an arrangement with the tabloid to supply information in exchange for money.

His lawyer Kathy Ryan told the court that until a few months ago, the defendant had been a man of good character who had been in employment and providing for his family.

Judge Timothy Pontius QC adjourned sentencing until Friday 9 October for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Remanding De Souza on conditional bail, the judge warned him: "You must be realistic about the seriousness of your position.

"Whether or not a prison sentence follows must remain entirely at the discretion of the sentencing judge."

The Crown Prosecution Service announced that De Souza was to be charged on 30 June.

It said: "Joseph De Souza, between 1st March 2007 and 12th June 2009, being a public officer namely a Prison Officer at Her Majesty's Prison Holloway, and acting as such, without reasonable excuse or justification, wilfully misconducted himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in that office."

At least 29 public officials have been convicted of illegally giving information to journalists over the last four years. 

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