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'The Sun' defence editor charged under payments probe

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The Sun's defence editor Virginia Wheeler and a former Met Police officer have been charged in connection with alleged corrupt payments for information.

Wheeler and former Metropolitan Police Service police constable Paul Flattley are charged with conspiring together to commit misconduct in a public office between May 25, 2008 and September 13, 2011.

New Scotland Yard

© PA Images / Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Copies of 'The Sun' newspaper

© Rex Features



Alison Levitt, QC, the principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said that Flattley was allegedly paid more than £6,000 by The Sun in exchange for information, including about the tragic death of a 14-year-old girl.

"We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence, that former Metropolitan Police Service police constable Paul Flattley, and Virginia Wheeler, a journalist at The Sun newspaper, should be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office," said Levitt.

"It is alleged that between May 25, 2008 and September 13, 2011 Flattley, who at the time was a serving police constable with the Metropolitan Police Service, was paid at least £4,000 (in the form of cheques) and £2,450 (in cash) by The Sun newspaper in exchange for information provided in breach of the terms of his employment.

"The information provided included information about the tragic death of a 14-year-old girl, as well as details about both suspects and victims of accidents, incidents and crimes.

> Detective found guilty of offering 'News of the World' info for cash

"This included, but was not limited to, information about high profile individuals and those associated with them."

Levitt added: "This guidance asks prosecutors to consider whether the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the overall criminality before bringing criminal proceedings.

"Accordingly, we have authorised the institution of proceedings and both individuals will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on a date to be determined."

Flattley and Wheeler are being charged under the Operation Elveden police investigation into allegations involving unlawful provision of information by public officials to journalists.

In total, eight people have now been charged under Elveden, including former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and The Sun chief reporter John Kay.

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