Trial of six Sun journalists accused of paying public officials set to start at Kingston Crown Court

The Sun behind bars.JPG

Six journalists and senior newspaper executives are going on trial accused of plotting with public officials in pursuit of exclusive stories at The Sun newspaper over nine years.

The group are jointly charged with conspiring to commit misconduct with police officers, members of the Armed Forces, prison officials and staff at Broadmoor Hospital between March 2002 and January 2011.

On a charge sheet containing nine separate counts, news editor Chris Pharo faces a total of six charges of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office while ex-managing editor Graham Dudman and ex-Sun deputy news editor Ben O'Driscoll are accused of four.

Reporter Jamie Pyatt and picture editor John Edwards face three counts each and ex-Sun reporter John Troup is accused of two counts.

They are in the dock alongside former Surrey police officer Simon Quinn who is charged with committing misconduct in a public office by selling information about celebrities as well as high profile criminal investigations between 2000 and 2011.

The charge states that Quinn, 37, of Littlehampton, sold information to The Sun about Mick Hucknall, Chris Tarrant and Dane Bowers as well as details of the Milly Dowler murder hunt and the M25 rapist Tony Imiela case. He denies the charge.

Pharo, 45, of Sandhurst; Pyatt, 51, of Windsor, O'Driscoll, 38, of Windsor, Edwards, 50, of Brentwood, Dudman, 51, of Brentwood, and Troup, 49, of Saffron Walden have denied the charges against them.

A jury is expected to be sworn in today before prosecutor Peter Wright QC opens the case tomorrow at Kingston Crown Court.

The trial being heard by judge Richard Marks QC could go on until Christmas. The defendants are on bail.

Here are the charges:

Count 1: Conspiracy to Commit Misconduct in Public Office contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977

Chris Pharo, Jamie Pyatt, Ben O'Driscoll, John Edwards, Graham Dudman and John Troup on days between March 22 2002 and January 12 2011 conspired together and with others, namely journalists at The Sun newspaper and public officers employed at Broadmoor Hospital, police officers, members of HM Armed Forces and prison officials to commit misconduct in public office.

Count 2: Conspiracy to Commit Misconduct in Public Office

Graham Dudman on days between September 5 2002 and November 4 2002 conspired together with another or others unknown, namely a police officer or officers, to commit misconduct in public office.

Count 3: Misconduct in Public Office

Simon Quinn on days between November 1 2000 and January 31 2011 being a public officer, namely a police constable, and acting as such wilfully misconducted himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the office holder without reasonable excuse or justification by: i) entering into an arrangement to act as a source for The Sun newspaper of confidential information held by the police; ii) making a series of disclosures of confidential information to The Sun newspaper; iii) entering into an arrangement with The Sun newspaper to be remunerated for those disclosures; iv) receiving said remunerations.

Count 4: Conspiracy to Commit Misconduct in Public Office

Chris Pharo, Jamie Pyatt, Ben O'Driscoll and John Edwards on days between April 23 2002 and January 12 2011 conspired together and with Simon Quinn, a police officer, namely a police officer employed by Surrey Police to commit misconduct in public office.

Count 5: Conspiracy to Commit Misconduct in Public Office

Chris Pharo and Ben O'Driscoll on days between May 24 2008 and October 19 2010 conspired together and with a journalist and a police officer employed by the Metropolitan Police Service to commit misconduct in public office.

Count 6: Conspiracy to Commit Misconduct in Public Office

Chris Pharo, Jamie Pyatt, Ben O'Driscoll, John Edwards and Graham Dudman on days between November 29 2007 and November 25 2010 conspired together and with a health care assistant at Broadmoor Hospital to commit misconduct in public office.

Count 7: Conspiracy to Commit Misconduct in Public Office

Chris Pharo between April 12 2006 and April 30 2006 conspired together with ajournalist and a serving soldier in HM Armed Forces, to commit misconduct in public office.

Count 8: Conspiracy to Commit Misconduct in Public Office

Chris Pharo between August 12 2007 and February 25 2009 conspired together with a journalist and a prison officer serving at HMP Swaleside to commit misconduct in public office.

Count 9: Conspiracy to Commit Misconduct in Public Office

Graham Dudman and John Troup between 20 November 2007 and 6 December 2007 conspired together and with a public officers, namely an unknown prison officer serving at HMP Whitemoor to commit misconduct in public office.

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