A Thames Valley Police investigation into local newspaper journalist Sally Murrer cost £205,000, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.
Murrer was cleared at Kingston Crown Court last month of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office – encouraging a police officer to leak stories to her.
Now a BBC FoI request has revealed the claimed cost of Thames Valley Police’s 18-month investigation into Murrer.
The true cost to the taxpayer of the Murrer case is likely to be much higher – when legal fees for the Crown Court trial and investigations against her co-defendants are taken into consideration.
Murrer told Press Gazette last month that at the time she was being investigated by Thames Valley Police, her elderly mother was robbed by a distraction burglar in her own home. The force did not respond in person to the call about the burglary and sent a letter saying they did not have the resources to investigate the crime.
Murrer was first arrested on 8 May last year when she was taken to Banbury police station and held for 30 hours.
She was told that she faced the charge of ‘aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office’and that she could be jailed for life.
But the charge was thrown out by a crown court judge who ruled that police had trampled over Murrer’s human rights by illegally bugging her.
When asked whether she would sue Thames Valley Police for wrongful arrest and imprisonment, Murrer last month: ‘At the minute I just feel that it would be filthy money.
“I am being urged to sue them – the barristers are saying that I must do something. If I did I think I would give the money to charity.
‘They put a bomb under my family. I’ve got to make a decision as to whether I’ve got the confidence to be a journalist any more.”