Saturday 16 November 2019

Two staff at The Sun newspaper cleared over 'cash-for-stories'

Former senior Sun journalist John Troup See PA story COURTS Elveden. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Former senior Sun journalist John Troup See PA story COURTS Elveden. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Former managing editor of the Sun Graham Dudman, as he has been acquitted of corrupting public officials, a jury at Kingston Crown Court has ruled. Photo credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Former Sun deputy news editor Ben O'Driscoll, as he has been acquitted of corrupting public officials, a jury at Kingston Crown Court has ruled See PA story COURTS Elveden. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Ryan Hooper

Two members of staff at the Sun newspaper have been acquitted of corrupting public officials.

Picture editor John Edwards and former reporter John Troup were cleared after seven days' deliberations by a jury at Kingston Crown Court in south west London.

Edwards, 50, of Brentwood, Essex, was found not guilty of two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office and Troup, 49, of Saffron Walden, Essex, was cleared of the same charge.

Supporters in the public gallery wiped tears from their eyes while others hugged as today's verdicts were read out by the jury foreman.

Two other former Sun employees - ex-deputy news editor Ben O'Driscoll and former managing editor Graham Dudman - were each found not guilty of one similar charge.

The jurors will continue to consider further charges against Dudman and O'Driscoll when they resume deliberations next week, as well as verdicts on Sun head of news Chris Pharo and district reporter Jamie Pyatt.

Pharo, 45, of Sandhurst in Berkshire, faces three counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

Dudman, 51, of Brentwood in Essex, Pyatt, 51, of Windsor in Berkshire, and O'Driscoll, 38, also of Windsor, remain charged with two counts each of the same offence.

The charges relate to alleged backhanders to public officials on "a grand scale", prosecutors said.

Stories were said to have involved details about the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, pop star Mick Hucknall and murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

Information had been sold to the newspapers by public officials, including police and prison staff, the court heard.

But lawyers for the defendants said they had been "fed to the wolves" by News International to protect its reputation in light of the phone-hacking scandal.

The three-month trial, in front of judge Richard Marks QC, will resume on Monday morning.

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