Met Police detective jailed over attempted News of the World leak

11:26 01 February 2013

Chief Insp April Casburn, 53, was convicted last month: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Chief Insp April Casburn, 53, was convicted last month: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

A senior counter-terrorism detective has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for offering to sell information to the News of the World.

Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn was sentenced at the Old Bailey today for misconduct in public office for offering to sell information to the News of the World.

Mr Justice Fulford told her it was “a corrupt attempt to make money out of sensitive and potentially very damaging information”.

Casburn, 53, is currently in the process of adopting a child, and the judge said had that not been the case he would have sentenced her to three years.

He said her offence could not be described as whistle-blowing, and went on: “If the News of the World had accepted her offer, it’s clear, in my view, that Ms Casburn would have taken the money and, as a result, she posed a significant threat to the integrity of this important police investigation.”

“Activity of this kind is deeply damaging to the administration of criminal justice in this country.

“It corrodes the public’s faith in the police force, it can lead to the acquittal or the failure by the authorities to prosecute individuals who have committed offences whether they are serious or otherwise.

“We are entitled to expect the very highest standards of probity from our police officers, particularly those at a senior level.

“It is, in my judgment, a very serious matter indeed when men or women who have all the benefits, privileges and responsibilities of public office use their position for corrupt purposes.”

He said he was particularly concerned about Casburn’s child, and admitted that her absence while she is in prison could be damaging.

“Troubling case of corruption”

Casburn, from Hatfield Peverel in Essex, called the NotW news desk on September 11 2010, and spoke to journalist Tim Wood about the fresh investigation into phone hacking.

She claimed she contacted the tabloid because she was concerned about counter-terror resources being wasted on the phone-hacking inquiry, which her colleagues saw as “a bit of a jolly”.

The detective denied asking for money, but Mr Wood had made a note that she “wanted to sell inside information”.

Today Mr Justice Fulford said: “It seems to me Mr Wood was a reliable, honest and disinterested witness.

“He took time and trouble during the defendant’s call to find out exactly what Miss Casburn was saying, questioning the defendant in detail on her account in order to make an accurate note for his superiors at the News of the World which he wrote up in detail immediately afterwards.

“He had absolutely no reason to lie and every cause to be cautious given the risk that the newspaper was to be the victim of a sting, as he suspected.”

During her trial at Southwark Crown Court last month, Casburn likened the male-dominated counter-terrorism unit to the TV series Life On Mars.

She was not given a desk for several months, despite more junior colleagues having them, jurors were told.

But the judge rejected this as an explanation for her behaviour.

He said: “It seems to me this is a straightforward but troubling case of corruption.

“I decline to accept that she had significant difficulties working with her male colleagues in the senior ranks of the counter-terrorism unit, which in part she said led her to act as she did.

“The most that could be said is that she was a relative newcomer to this area of police work. As a result she may have felt something of an outsider.”

But he said this “could not begin to explain the actions of a detective chief inspector who offers to the very newspaper which is the subject of a sensitive and confidential investigation by other officers to sell details of the progress of the inquiry and the strategy that officers were intending to follow”.

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Police believe that this man may have information about the incident (Photo: British Transport Police)

A 60-year-old man was badly injured and needed hospital treatment after he was pushed down some steps at Putney station because he accidentally bumped into someone.

Monday, February 8, 2016
Smooth (Photo: Kingston Police)

When faced with a frantic police chase, most people would just stand and gape.

Monday, February 8, 2016
A non fatal shooting took place in Tulse Hill last night (Picture: ?@stoopnik / Twitter)

Armed police raced to Tulse Hill yesterday evening after locals heard gunshots and found a man shot in the street.

Sunday, February 7, 2016
An 18-year-old has been charged with murder (Picture: Street View)

A teenager has been charged with murder after a 27-year-old man died from stab wounds in Plaistow Park, Newham, just over a week ago.

Friday, February 5, 2016
Nemash Patel photographed the police cordon

Thousands of commuters were evacuated from one of the city’s biggest train stations today, as a suspected World War Two bomb was found on a building site near Victoria.

Friday, February 5, 2016
George Verrier was punched when he tried to calm down a fight. He hit his head on the pavement and later died (Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

)

Two Metropolitan police officers have been dismissed for gross misconduct after the death of 17-year-old George Villiers who was punched at a party in Bromley.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport