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  1. Media Law
April 2, 2015

CPS presses ahead with retrial of prison officer whose newspaper leak conviction was overturned last week

By PA Media Lawyer

The Crown Prosecution Service is to press ahead with a retrial of a prison officer whose conviction on a charge of leaking stories to newspapers was overturned by the Court of Appeal last week.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, sitting in a special hearing of the Court of Appeal yesterday, gave the CPS permission to go ahead with a retrial.

But the CPS said it had concluded that it was not in the public interest to seek a retrial of the prison officer's co-defendants, one who was a friend, and the other a former News of the World journalist.

None of these individuals – all of whose convictions were quashed last week – can be named for legal reasons.

The CPS confirmed that it was performing a major review of cases related to leaks to newspapers following last week's Court of Appeal judgment.

The court heard that the prison officer had served three-and-a-half months of a 42-month sentence and was released from jail when his conviction was overturned last week.

It was also told he had had a "very difficult" time in prison because of his previous job, and while at Belmarsh spent 23 hours a day in his cell, and could not take part in any activities.

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The CPS has until 24 April to decide to review all remaining trials of journalists brought as a result of Scotland Yard's Operation Elveden investigation into payments for stories by newspapers.

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