Jury out on former Wiltshire Police officer accused of offering story to Sun (From This Is Wiltshire)
Jury out on former Wiltshire Police officer accused of offering story to Sun
1:52pm Thursday 17th July 2014 in News
A jury has retired to consider its verdict on a former Wiltshire Police constable accused of offering to sell a story about a "womanising and bullying" colleague to the Sun.
Darren Jennings, 41, is on trial at the Old Bailey charged with committing misconduct in a public office.
The court heard that Jennings, who now lives in Saffron Walden, Essex, contacted the Sun in 2010 about a colleague, Sergeant Mark Andrews, who had been arrested over an assault in custody.
Jennings, using the pseudonym Robert Stone, sent an email to a journalist saying that the married sergeant had had affairs with colleagues, including a PCSO, an ex-PCSO and a Special Constable, the court heard.
He told the tabloid that Sgt Andrews had taken part in a threesome with another male police officer and a female police officer and regularly went to a strip bar in Salisbury, jurors heard.
The email also alleged that the sergeant had used excessive force towards members of the public at Salisbury police station and on one occasion slammed a woman's head against a concrete floor, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow said.
Asking for £10,000 for the information, Jennings allegedly told the Sun journalist: "I'm taking a massive risk in giving this information and have an enormous amount to lose by doing so if I am found out."
Even though the story was never published, Jennings's contact with the Sun was uncovered by police who trawled through millions of emails in 2012 as part of the newspaper hacking investigation, the court heard.
However, the married father-of-two denied the charge and said he was "set up" by someone else who used his laptop which he had left at work.
Sgt Andrews was convicted at Oxford Magistrates' Court of assault occasioning actual bodily harm but that was later quashed on appeal, the trial heard.