Former Surrey police officer Alan Tierney charged over alleged payments from The Sun
Following stints with Reuters and the Press Association, Martin Hickman joined The Independent as a news editor in 2001. He became the Consumer Affairs Correspondent in September 2005 and has run the paper's trenchant campaigns on packaging, bank charges and factory-farmed chicken. He writes on subjects as diverse as food, finance, energy and fashion. With Tom Watson, he is author of a new book on the phone hacking scandal, Dial M for Murdoch - News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain.
Thursday 07 February 2013
A former Surrey police officer, Alan Tierney, is to be charged with misconduct in public office over alleged payments from the Sun newspaper, the Crown Prosecution Service announced today.
Mr Tierney is accused of providing information on two occasions in 2009 in return for £1,750 from Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid.
Both incidents related to “high profile individuals,” the Crown Prosecution Service said.
Eight people currently stand accused of charges relating to commit misconduct in public life over payments by journalists to public officials.
They include two former editors of News International newspapers, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, the Sun’s chief reporter John Kay and a Ministry of Defence official, Bettina Jordan Barber.
Announcing the latest charge, Alison Levitt, QC, principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said the CPS had received a file on Mr Tierney from the Metropolitan Police on 14 January 2013.
In a statement, she said: "We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence that Alan Tierney, a former police constable with Surrey Police, should be charged with two offences of committing misconduct in public office.
"It is alleged that in 2009 Mr Tierney provided information to The Sun newspaper on two occasions in breach of the terms of his employment with Surrey Police and was paid £1750.
“The first charge relates to an allegation that Mr Tierney provided details to the newspaper about a shoplifting incident in which he was the arresting officer.
“The second charge relates to an occasion on which Mr Tierney took a statement from a witness to a domestic violence incident. It is alleged that Mr Tierney passed the witness’ name, address and details of the incident to the newspaper.
“Both of these incidents were linked to high-profile people.
"All of these matters were considered carefully in accordance with the DPP's guidelines on the public interest in cases affecting the media. These guidelines require prosecutors to consider whether the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the overall criminality before bringing criminal proceedings.”
Mrs Levitt added that the CPS had decided not to take any action against a member of the public who was referred to in the file received from the police on 14 January.
“We have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and therefore this individual will not face further action,” she said.
“Due to ongoing proceedings it would be inappropriate to say any more at this stage, however at their conclusion we will consider if more can be made public in relation to this decision.”
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