Police sergeant jailed for selling information to the Sun newspaper
Thursday 09 May 2013
A former police sergeant has been jailed for 10 months for trying to sell a story about celebrity Katie Price's daughter to the News of the World.
James Bowes contacted the now-defunct Sunday tabloid newspaper and told a journalist that police child protection officers had gone to the home of Price's former husband Peter Andre in Brighton.
This followed a report that the couple's daughter, Princess Tiaamii, then aged two, had been injured in 2010, the Old Bailey heard.
The team found no untoward injuries to the child and the matter was not taken further, the court was told.
But Bowes, who worked for in Brighton for Sussex Police, emailed the newspaper asking for money for the information.
A story was printed with information from another source and Bowes was never paid.
Bowes, 30, from Steyning, West Sussex, pleaded guilty last month to misconduct in public office.
The court heard that he passed information to the Sun newspaper about a child who was bitten by a fox and was paid £500.
And he passed on details of a psychic who had contacted police about a search for bodies in two former Brighton homes in 2010 of serial killer Peter Tobin, but was not paid.
Mr Justice Fulford told Bowes: "You have made available to the press confidential information concerning children."Your explanation is that it was a foolish attempt by you to be in some part associated with notorious or high-profile cases."
Bowes had abused his position of trust and undermined the relationship the police had with the public.
Stephen Wedd, defending, said Bowes had now given £500 to the Crimestoppers charity, and had been dismissed by Sussex Police.
Mark Bryant-Heron, prosecuting, told the court that Bowes had access to the police computer to get information about the three reports in 2010.
Andre and Price had separated and there was a report of injuries to the couple's daughter.
"The child protection team established no untoward injuries," said Mr Bryant-Heron.
The following day Bowes emailed the News of the World news desk but was told that the newspaper already had the information.
"Clearly, the News of the World had access to other sources for information," he added.
Bowes had emailed the Sun after a fox attacked a child at a birthday party and was paid after providing the contact details of the parents.
The father told the court he had to move his family away from their home until the fuss died down after the story was printed.
He also contacted the newspaper about the psychic who was later contacted by a journalist.
No story was published and Bowes was not paid, but the psychic said she had lost confidence in the police.
Mr Bryant-Heron told the court the child protection team "established very quickly that there were no bruises or injuries" to Tiaamii.
He said: "Peter Andre has made a statement saying he was hurt and embarrassed by the story."
Bowes was charged after investigations by officers from Operation Elveden, the Metropolitan Police investigation into police corruption.
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