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'Sun' crime reporter found guilty of paying for story tips

world Updated: May 22, 2015 21:55 IST
Rupert Murdoch-owned 'Sun'

Rupert Murdoch-owned 'Sun' tabloid's crime reporter has been found guilty of paying a Heathrow Airport police officer for 38 scoops.

Anthony France, a crime reporter who joined the 'Sun' in 2004, had denied aiding and abetting Timothy Edwards to commit misconduct in a public office.

The 41-year-old's trial at the Old Bailey court here was part of the Scotland Yard's Operation Elveden, which is investigating alleged illegal payments to police and officials.

The officer, part of the Met's counter-terrorism command, sold 38 stories and titbits of information to France in exchange for 22,340 pounds.

He told France about a British Airways engineer caught in high heels and a bodice walking a makeshift catwalk, and leaked the name of a drunk pilot arrested at the airport, the court heard.

Edwards also passed on details of a model who caught her boyfriend being intimate next to her on a plane with another woman, the court heard.

Prosecutor Zoe Johnson told the jury, France's "corrupt" relationship with Edwards, between March 2008 and July 2011, was damaging to the public interest.

"PC Edwards seriously abused his role as a serving police constable to sell information to Anthony France and we further suggest France encouraged PC Edwards to behave in this way so that he could fill the 'Sun's' papers with stories and with scoops," she said.