UK & World News
Top Met Officer Guilty Over 'Cash For Leaks'
A senior Scotland Yard officer has been found guilty of misconduct in public office for offering the News Of The World confidential information in return for money.
April Casburn, who ran the Yard's National Terrorist Financial Investigation unit, had denied the offence although she admitted calling the NOTW and passing on details of the inquiry.
She said she did it because she was concerned that counter-terror police were being diverted from saving lives to investigate hacking.
Detective Chief Inspector Casburn, from Hatfield Peverel in Essex, remained impassive as the verdict was read out.
Prosecutors said she had tried to undermine the hacking investigation by offering to leak details to the Sunday tabloid.
She telephoned the paper early on September 11, 2010 and spoke to journalist Tim Wood, complaining about pressure from Lord Prescott over the probe and giving the names of two former NOTW journalists under investigation - Andy Coulson and Sean Hoare.
Prosecutor Mark Bryant-Heron told the jury at Southwark Crown Court in his closing speech: "With or without money, there is no reasonable excuse or justification.
"The damage being done here is that the public are entitled to have confidence in the police and their procedures when they pursue sensitive investigations."
He said DCI Casburn had behaved "disgracefully" and her actions had been "malicious."
Mr Bryant-Heron continued: "Without wanting to sound like Humphrey Bogart, of all the papers in all the world who did she go to?
'It's like having a criminal investigation and going to the suspect and telling them what you are up to."
Casburn had told the jury she was "foolish" to make the call, but felt it was the only way of making her concerns public.
She said that going to the press "may be the only option that's open to individuals."
She said she had been off work sick with stress, was going through a difficult divorce and was trying to adopt a child at the time.
She was angry that counter-terror colleagues were being used to investigate phone hacking and accused them of treating the inquiry as "a jolly."
She described the Yard's male-dominated special operations department as "like something from the TV series Life on Mars" and said there had been "palpable excitement" over which of them would get to interview actress Sienna Miller.
Her lawyer Patrick Gibbs QC said: "It was foolish, but she wouldn't look so foolish now if a bomb had gone off when a lot of counter-terror people were interviewing Sienna Miller and Hugh Grant."
Casburn will be sentenced later this month on a date to be fixed and was released on unconditional bail until then.
what do you think?
I suppose seeking and accepting money can be very stressfull? No excuses are good enough and thank God she was not in a higher position for national security.
She should have just left her memory stick on the train, and let nature take it's course.
Off work with stress, divorcing AND adopting? Tell us another one.
For someone in her position she should be made an example of and her punishment must reflect the severity of her actions, but I have suspicions she will wriggle free,simply because she knows too much and she could take a few with her........It happens all the time,knowledge is power.
Are there aney cops who are not bent first hilsbrough then plebgate now this.
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Why is anyone surprised at this? This has been going on since the start of policing and will continue for ever. Ever wondered why one newspaper gets a story about an investigation ahead of all others?
I think this claim of hers needs thoroughly investigating. Not even one counter terrorism officer should have been taken off his role in protecting our capital from danger. I am not condoning her crime but everyone with any sense knows our police are chronically understaffed
In the process of divorcing ! and adopting ! and building up defence for a serious offence !! strange woman, talk about multi-tasking.
Just a small cog in a large corrupt machine with the big ones getting away free.
Another example of someone in high office getting very greedy....
All well and good, but will the big boys and girls get theirs?
One down, ......