View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Media Law
February 11, 2013

April Casburn family says her jailing will scare off whistleblowers

By Andrew Pugh

The brother of April Casburn, the Met officer convicted of offering to sell information to the News of the World (NoW), has warned whistleblowers will be too scared to approach journalists after his sister was jailed for 15 months.

Phillip Casburn has vowed to relinquish his British citizenship over what he believes to be a draconian sentence and criticised the prison service for placing her on an open wing.

And he remains adamant his sister did not ask for money when she called the NoW in September 2010 offering information on Scotland Yard’s investigation into phone-hacking.

He is also highly critical of NoW publisher News International’s decision to allow the Met access to an email incriminating the mother of three, accusing the company of setting a dangerous precedent for British journalism

“This has done so much damage,” he told Press Gazette.

“I don’t know how this is ever going to be repaired, if all of a sudden the Yard can come up and take journalists’ computers away. Freedom of speech is gone in that moment.”

He claims his sister’s conviction means confidential sources now have little protection, asking: “How are you journalists going to protect yourselves and protect your sources?

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

“It’s all over the cliff now: The police can turn up and take everything away from your office, and anyone who ever talked to you in the last year is going to be potentially implicated.

“I find these extremely scary times for everybody in the UK. How is journalism going to function in the future? Any of your potential sources out there will be scared to pick up the phone and give you a call.”

Casburn, a senior manager at energy conglomerate Johnson Controls Incorporated, said he will hand in his UK passport and become a citizen of Germany, where he lives, in protest at the British justice system.

His sister, a senior counter-terrorism detective, became the first person convicted under the fresh investigations into corruption and phone-hacking last week.


The Seven-minute phone call that led to 15 months in jail for Met detective





Topics in this article :

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network