Former Times reporter Patrick Foster accepts caution for alleged email hacking over Nightjack affair
A former journalist on The Times who has spent two years on bail attacked the “extrajudicial” behaviour of Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service tonight as he accepted a police caution for alleged email hacking.
Patrick Foster, a former media correspondent, was cautioned over allegations he unlawfully accessed the email account of anonymous police blogger “Nightjack” in a bid to unmask him in 2009.
Today, Foster accepted a police caution for what he described as a “technical breach”, and said he was acting under the misapprehension that his actions would be covered by a “public interest” defence.
However, today the journalist published a strongly worded statement on Twitter, denouncing the “unnecessarily heavy-handed police investigation” and criticising the decision to keep him on bail for two years.
Foster also claimed that when the incident was first publicised in January 2012, he told his lawyers to make immediate contact with the police and offer to help them with their inquiries.
He said: “The police confirmed that it was ‘highly likely’ that they would wish to speak to me, and that they would ‘keep in contact and make arrangements as necessary’. Despite this, seven months later, in August 2012, I was arrested in a dawn raid at my home.”
Today, the CPS announced that Foster had accepted a caution for an offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in relation to the unmasking of the anonymous Nightjack blogger, Lancashire detective Richard Horton, in The Times.
Foster and Alastair Brett, the veteran former Times lawyer, were also told they face no further action over a second strand of the police investigation, into a suspected conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and perjury.
Foster also won unlikely support from legal blogger David Allen Green, who originally uncovered the Nightjack case and brought it to the attention of the Leveson Inquiry.
In a series of tweets, Mr Green said: “Should never have been a criminal matter, and unacceptable the reporter had to wait two years on bail.
“Nightjack was a discrete set of facts, which the civil courts were able to deal with in months. Two years for Met/CPS simply unacceptable.”
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nelson Bunker Hunt dead: Former world’s richest man dies in 'modest circumstances' in US after losing his fortune
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years