Ex-PC And Sun Reporter Face Charges

A former police officer and a Sun journalist are facing criminal charges over alleged corrupt payments for information including details of the death of a 15-year-old girl.

Ex-Metropolitan Police constable Paul Flattley and The Sun's defence editor Virginia Wheeler will be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

It is alleged that the officer was paid at least £4,000 in cheques and £2,450 in cash in exchange for information, including details linked to the teenager's death.

Principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Levitt QC said:

"We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence, that former Metropolitan Police Service police constable Paul Flattley and Virginia Wheeler, a journalist at The Sun newspaper, should be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

"It is alleged that between May 25, 2008 and September 13, 2011 Flattley, who at the time was a serving police constable with the Metropolitan Police Service, was paid at least £4,000 (in the form of cheques) and £2,450 (in cash) by The Sun newspaper in exchange for information provided in breach of the terms of his employment.

"The information provided included information about the tragic death of a 15-year-old girl, as well as details about both suspects and victims of accidents, incidents and crimes. This included, but was not limited to, information about high-profile individuals and those associated with them."

The charges are being brought as a result of Operation Elveden, Scotland Yard's inquiry into alleged corrupt payments to public officials.

So far, 56 people have been arrested as part of the inquiry, six have been charged, and two - a retired police officer and a former journalist - have been told they will face no further action.

Those charged include former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, 44, Sun chief reporter John Kay, 69, and Ministry of Defence employee Bettina Jordan-Barber, 39.

It is alleged that Brooks, from Oxfordshire, and Kay, from north-west London, conspired to pay Jordan-Barber, from Shrivenham, near Swindon, Wiltshire, around £100,000 for information.

The three each face one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office between January 1 2004 and January 31 this year.

David Cameron's former spin doctor Andy Coulson and former News of the World royal correspondent Clive Goodman also face charges.

They are accused of conspiracy to pay for information including a royal phone directory known as the "Green Book".

It contained contact details for the Royal Family and members of their households.

Coulson, 44, from Kent, and Goodman, 55, from Surrey, face two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office - one between August 31 2002 and January 31 2003, and the other between January 31 and June 3 2005.

All five are due to appear at the Old Bailey for a plea hearing on March 8.

In a separate case, Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn, 53, was found guilty of misconduct in public office earlier this month for offering to sell information to the News of the World.

She will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on February 1.