Former Sun journalist cleared of paying for Whitemoor Prison story information

PUBLISHED: 10:47 19 January 2015 | UPDATED: 10:47 19 January 2015

Whitemoor Prison.

Whitemoor Prison.

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A former Sun journalist has been cleared of paying a prison officer at Whitemoor jail for a story on a prisoner’s suicide.

John Troup, who worked at the paper for 16 years was the district reporter for this area was accused of paying an unknown Whitemoor official in 2007 for information that led to the publication of a four paragraph story headlined “Hitman hanging”.

He was charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in public office with the paper’s former managing editor Graham Dudman, who was also cleared.

The corruption charges came as the result of an investigation into payments to public officials by the newspaper.

The jury at Kingston Crown Court heard Troup was alleged to have paid £300 to an unnamed prison officer in connection with the story.

However, it emerged during the trial that Troup had not written the story in question and there was no evidence as to whether the payment was made.

Troup had a number of famous scoops during his Sun career including the Bruce Grobbelaar football bungs scandal, but he was made redundant five years ago.

He was working in public relations for a council but was sacked from the job when he was charged. He now makes ends meet “slicing bacon” in a butcher’s shop, the jury heard.

The paper’s former picture editor John Edwards was cleared of two charges: that he conspired with the paper’s head of news Chris Pharo, Thames Valley district reporter Jamie Pyatt and former deputy news editor Ben O’Driscoll over payments to the surrey police officer Simon Quinn and also of a second conspiracy in connection with leaks from Broadmoor high-security hospital.

Dudman is awaiting verdicts on two further charges.

Pyatt and Pharo await verdicts on all charges while O’Driscoll who was cleared on one charge is awaiting verdicts on two remaining charges.

The hearing was due to continue this morning (Monday).

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