Sun Reporter Guilty Of Paying Cop For Stories

Sun Reporter Guilty Of Paying Cop For Stories

A Sun journalist has been found guilty after paying a police officer more than £22,000 for story tips as part of a "corrupt relationship".

Crime reporter Anthony France, 41, paid the money to PC Timothy Edwards for 38 stories and snippets of information.

France fostered a "corrupt relationship" over four years with the counter-terrorism officer, the Old Bailey heard.

Edwards, who was based at Heathrow airport, passed on story tips, including a pilot being breathalysed and a drunken model flying into a rage after "catching her boyfriend romping with a woman next to him".

France told jurors he did not realise he was doing anything wrong by speaking to the officer.

Asked what he would have done if he had realised it was illegal, he said: "I would never have got involved with it. I would have told him to get lost.

"I'm a man of good character not involved in crime."

As part of his testimony, France also told the Old Bailey he had worked for a "homophobic bully" at the paper who stripped him of his crime reporter title in 2010.

PC Edwards was jailed for two years in 2014 after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office. The jury in France's case was not informed to ensure he received a fair trial.

France's mother burst into tears as he left the dock after being found guilty of aiding and abetting Edwards to commit misconduct in a public office between March 2008 and July 2011.

He was released on bail and will be sentenced on 29 May.

France was convicted as part of the multi-million pound Operation Elveden looking into newspapers’ dealings with public officials.

Critics have called the Met police probe a waste of money after juries cleared most of the accused tabloid journalists.

Judges also quashed the convictions of two News of the World reporters - the only others to be found guilty at trial - while charges against nine other people, including former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, were dropped last month.