Detectives and staff at Broadmoor Hospital leaked details of spree killer Daniel Gonzalez and Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe to the tabloid press, a court heard today.
Sun senior reporter Jamie Pyatt (pictured: Reuters), 51, is accused of buying details from Surrey Police PC Simon Quinn for years, cultivating him as an important source of confidential information.
The journalist made a number of expense claims for a "Surrey police contact" who gave exclusive photographs of Gonzalez, it is said.
In one claim form Pyatt allegedly wrote: "meeting with Surrey police contact and obtain exclusive photograph of spree killer Gonzalez, lunch to say thank you".
The source was also paid £250 for the picture by way of an anonymous cash payment.
Pyatt collected several cash bundles from Thomas Cook in September 2004 to give to his sources, it is said.
Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said there was extensive phone contact between the reporter and Quinn in September and October 2004.
In January 2005 The Sun published a number of articles on Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe when he was released from Broadmoor psychiatric hospital for the day to visit Cumbria where his father's ashes were scattered.
A number of exclusive pieces with headlines including "Ripper Let Out" and "Evil In Town" were published under Pyatt's name, jurors were told.
A £2,500 anonymous cash payment was authorised for one of the articles on Sutcliffe, the court was told.
Pyatt put in an expense claim on 28 October 2005 for lunch at Ascot with the source who gave the tip on the Ripper's day out, it is said.
He wrote: "Met with Broadmoor contact who supplied Yorkshire Ripper on day of freedom and day off.
"Will introduce to new contact as he is leaving. Lunch at Ascot to say thank you and taxi back to Bracknell."
Pyatt also wrote several articles on two Surrey police officers, Mark Witcher and Andrew Lang, who were jailed for having sex with a young mother while they were on duty after she was attacked outside a nightclub.
The reporter's source was handed £1,000 in another anonymous cash payment for "exclusive background" on the story, the court heard.
Pyatt also took two Surrey officers out for dinner for giving him details about the case, it is alleged.
Jeremy Kirby, former assistant chief constable at Surrey Police, said officers leaking information to the press damaged public confidence in the force.
"Policing relies on cooperation from members of the public in the capacity of them being victims of crime," he told the jury.
"They need to have trust and confidence in the police service that they will deal with information and reports with honesty and integrity.
"The public are the people we serve but also the people who give us information."
Kirby, who is now retired, added: "If they don't have trust or confidence they may not come forward to report what they have seen or heard or know.
"Leaks of information could be quite damaging, depending on the type of disclosure and the public perception of the impact."
The Sun's managing editor Graham Dudman is accused of paying a City of London officer for confidential information about the hunt for killer Ian Huntley.
He allegedly paid the policeman for leaks of the names of officers in the murder hunt who had been arrested for possessing indecent images of children.
Dudman, 51, is accused with head of news Chris Pharo, 45, deputy news editor Ben O'Driscoll, 38, reporters Pyatt, 51, and John Troup, 49, and picture editor John Edwards, of corruption at The Sun between 2002 and 2011.
The six defendants are accused of a decade long campaign of payments to police officers, prison guards, healthcare workers in Broadmoor Hospital, and serving soldiers.
Pharo, of Wapping, east London, denies six counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
O'Driscoll, of Windsor, Berkshire, and Dudman, of Brentwood, Essex, both deny four counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
Edwards, of Hutton, Brentwood, Essex, and Pyatt, of Windsor, deny three counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
Troup, of Saffron Walden, Essex, denies two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
The trial continues.