A former police officer, his son and two journalists have been cleared of charges in connection with the alleged leaking of confidential information. Det Sgt Mark Kearney, who was involved in the unrelated bugging of an Labour MP Sadiq Khan's prison visit earlier this year, was cleared of misconduct in public office. His son, Harry, and journalists Sally Murrer and Derek Webb were cleared of aiding and abetting misconduct.
The judge said the journalists' right to protect sources had been infringed. Prosecutor Sir Alan Green QC said the Crown has decided against seeking leave to appeal. Mr Kearney, who has since retired from Thames Valley police, had faced eight charges of misconduct in public office, three of which alleged he passed confidential information to Mr Webb and five of which related to Ms Murrer, his former lover.
One count of aiding and abetting misconduct in public office against Mr Kearney's son, Harry, a soldier, was also dropped. All four were formally acquitted at Kingston Crown Court. Mr Justice Southwell said the journalists were both entitled, under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to protect their journalistic sources. But Thames Valley Police had flouted the convention by raiding Mr Webb's premises and authorising the bugging of Mr Kearney's car to discover if he was the source of the journalists' information, the court heard.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Police Officer Found Not Guilty of Damian Green's "Crime"
This has just hit the wires. It relates to a simialr charge to the one on which Damian Green was held yesterday...