A police officer who admitted selling stories to a newspaper – including one which caused a woman such distress that she tried to kill herself – was today jailed for two years.
Former Pc Timothy Edwards was paid £22,000 over three years for up to 30 stories involving celebrities, drug smuggling and airline crew antics, the Old Bailey heard.
The Metropolitan Police officer, who was based at Heathrow Airport, took evidence, including crime reports and custody records, from the police computer system.
Prosecutor Stuart Biggs said one woman named in a story suffered such "severe emotional stress" that she tried to kill herself.
Bill Emlyn Jones, defending, told the court that the woman's story had been turned into a "smutty sex-laden scandal".
He told the court in mitigation that Edwards was an "intelligent man" who understood the harm done and was sorry for his insensitive and appalling misconduct.
Edwards, 48, of Lingfield, Surrey, who was sacked last year, admitted misconduct in a public office between 31 March, 2008, and 1 July, 2011.
Sentencing him, judge Richard Marks QC told him he had been working for "two paymasters".
He said: "Conduct of this sort inevitably results in a betrayal of trust in the police by members of the public.
"In one case a woman was caused very considerable personal distress to such an extent she made an attempt on her own life. But you could never have envisaged that.
"Your case is a particularly serious one of its type, bearing in mind the number of stories involved, the amount of money you received and the period of time it went on."
Meanwhile, Sam Azouelos, 34, of Finchley, north London, also a police constable with Scotland Yard , pleaded guilty to the same charge between 4 July, 2006, and 29 April, 2010.
His case was adjourned to 4 July for pre-sentence reports.
The judge granted him unconditional bail but warned him that he too ould face jail.