MoS offered photographer £10k for pics of terror cop - Press Gazette

MoS offered photographer £10k for pics of terror cop

A photographer has revealed how he was offered £10,000 by the Mail on Sunday for pictures of Met anti-terror boss chief Andy Hayman having a drink with a married woman in a pub.

Matthew Sprake, managing director of the picture agency NewsPics, also revealed how he was sent by The People to Canada to find and photograph the McCann family on their first holiday without their missing daughter Madeleine.

Sprake told the Leveson Inquiry yesterday that a pub 'slowly filled up with reporters" after a senior Metropolitan policeman arrived to have drinks with a married woman with whom he was allegedly having an affair in 2007.

He said that he undertook "surveillance" of the "then head of the anti-terrorist squad" to investigate a story that the was having an affair with a married woman who worked for the Independent Police Complaints Commission at a time when his department was being investigated by the commission.

Sprake said: "So I was sent to photograph the lady involved in the story to ascertain whether she was still married to her husband, who was a serving police officer himself. So I went to the home address and took a photograph of them leaving their home address together…

"I was then told to go and follow her from work that evening, which I did. I followed her to a pub in Liverpool Street called The Griffin… where she did indeed meet with Andy Hayman."

Sprake apologised for naming Hayman – who no longer works for the Met.

Barrister Robert Jay QC said "It doesn't matter, because we've worked out who he was."

Sprake added: "The next day, same thing again… followed this lady to another pub near Liverpool Street station, where, again, Andy Hayman turned up 15 minutes after her.

"They went in the pub and had drinks together. The pub at that point slowly filled up with reporters.

"I took photographs of them as they left the pub…There was nothing there that really proved that they were having an intimate affair.

"I think it was months later a TV programme revealed the affair, named the lady, named him."

He said his photographs then became "relevant again".

Sprake said the pictures were published in the Mail on Sunday and The People – he said the Mail on Sunday had offered £10,000 "straight away".

Sprake also revealed that The People sent him to cover Kate and Gerry McCann's first holiday "without Madeleine" in 2008 – the year after the little girl vanished while on holiday with her parents in Portugal.

Sprake, who is a former civilian photographer with the Met Police, suggested that publicity might help find Madeleine – who was three when she disappeared in Praia da Luz on May 3 2007.

"I have got to be careful what I say because of where we are..,The information came from a source close to the family. At the time I thought it was appropriate."

"With the McCanns there was feeling by keeping Madeleine in the news it was helpful to the cause of finding Madeleine."

Sprake said he had been sent to Canada by The People and had worked with a People journalist.

Asked what his "brief" had been, he said: "The McCanns were going on holiday for the first time without Madeleine. To find them. Photograph them."

Sprake said he had taken photographs at Vancouver airport and said he had not "set up" the photographs.

"I would not know whether something had been set up with a newspaper, by an agent. e set of pictures we got at the airport were not set up by me."