Journalist Gary Wright blasted the Met’s actions after he was arrested for exposing the internet trade in police warrant cards.
Wright was collared by police posing for a picture outside Buckingham Palace during President Bush’s royal visit in November and charged under the Police Act 1996.
He believes the police pursued the prosecution partly because they were embarrassed by the Daily Mirror’s “Intruder at the Palace” story, of how undercover reporter Ryan Parry got a job as a Buckingham Palace footman.
It broke days before Wright’s arrest.
Wright said: “I think there was an element of maliciousness. I think they felt they had to be seen to be doing something because of Ryan Parry.
“The fact that they went to my house is unforgivable. It should have been obvious that I was just a journalist doing my job. A conviction could have affected my ability to do my job.
“They might have had a case if I was trying to get into Buckingham Palace wearing a police uniform, but I was simply there to get a photograph to supplement the story.
“I’ve been a journalist since 1987 and have had plenty of dealings with the police but I have lost faith in them over this.”
District judge Graham Parsons said, at Bow Street magistrates court, that he was satisfied Wright acted in the public interest. And added that Parliament may have to tighten up the law as a result of Wright’s internet warrant card investigation.
A police spokesperson said: “The Metropolitan Police takes security extremely seriously and we are satisfied that the correct procedures were followed in this case.”
by Dominic Ponsford