The Sun was today able to reveal its role in foiling a convict’s prison plot aganst his pregnant mistress to undermine her evidence against him.
The Sun was alerted to the story by a cellmate of doctor Edward Erin, who was jailed for six years in 2009 after being found guilty of trying to secretly drug his mistress to induce a miscarriage. Erin is a married father of two.
Erin’s former cellmate Joe Mallia tipped off the Sun in May 2010 when he was released from prison, the paper reports today.
According to The Sun, Erin asked Mallia to kill his former mistress and then send a text message from her phone in which she recanted her evidence.
Investigative reporter Bryan Flynn masterminded a sting in which Mallia visited Erin at Parkhurst Prison, on the Isle of Wight, and secretly taped him.
In a 55-minute video, Erin dictated the message he wanted sent from his former girlfriend’s phone, The Sun reports.
It also quotes Mallia’s evidence in court: “Erin said if Bella was killed he’d be freed and not struck off the General Medical Council. He wanted me to do it and kill her baby.”
According to The Sun, Erin now faces years being added to his sentence after being convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Media lawyer Mark Stephens, writing in The Sun today, said: “The covert methods used to get the evidence need to run the story highlight problems and dilemmas papers face when conucting journalism in the public interest…And future restrictions on the media must never stifle the freedom and independence that journalists need to operate as the eyes and ears of the public.”
Today’s exclusive story was written by Sun reporter Jamie Pyatt who was arrested and bailed by police working on the Operation Elveden investigation into bribes and alleged corruption. He was released on police bail and has yet to be charged with anything.