Reporter accused of corruption

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THE CHIEF crime reporter of the News of the World, Neville Thurlbeck, was charged yesterday by Hertfordshire police with corruption. A 52-year- old police officer has also been charged.

Last year Detective Constable Richard Farmer had been on secondment to the elite National Criminal Intelligence Service when he was returned to Hertfordshire with a report from the NCIS Director-General.

The Hertfordshire force investigated reports of stolen documents. In October, Mr Thurlbeck was arrested at his home in New Malden and later released on police bail.

Mr Thurlbeck, 37, was charged with an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act and one count of criminal conspiracy.

The detective, who lives in Bedfordshire, was charged last Friday with criminal conspiracy. Both men are to appear at Mid Herts magistrates' court in St Albans on 12 April.