Sun defence editor Virginia Wheeler charged over alleged payments to police

The Sun’s defence editor Virginia Wheeler has been charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office along with a former officer from the Metropolitan Police. 

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed this morning that charges were being brought against the pair following an Operation Elveden investigation into allegations of police corruption. 
 
Alison Levitt QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, this morning outlined details of the case against Wheeler and former Met PC Paul Flattley:

"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 14-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.

"All of these matters were considered carefully in accordance with the DPP's guidelines on the public interest in cases affecting the media. This guidance asks prosecutors to consider whether the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the overall criminality before bringing criminal proceedings.

"Accordingly, we have authorised the institution of proceedings and both individuals will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on a date to be determined.”

She also warned reporters that no information should be published that could prejudice any future trial.

Last week Sun reporter Anthony French, 39 became the 22nd Sun journalist arrested by police as part of the Operation Elveden investigation into alleged improper payments.

 

MORE ON THIS STORY : 

Tags: 

Sign up for our free weekly digital magazine, Press Gazette Journalism Weekly, and daily newsletter
To contact Press Gazette with a story call 0207 936 6433
or email pged@pressgazette.co.uk
To advertise, please call 0207 936 6764.