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  1. Media Law
July 18, 2013

Six journalists appear in court over alleged payments to public officials

By PA Mediapoint

The first non-News International journalist to be charged over alleged corrupt payments to public officials was among six newspaper staff who appeared in court today.
Tom Savage, 38, deputy news editor from the Daily Star Sunday, is accused of paying a prison officer from high-security HMP Woodhill for information on a high-profile inmate.
He faces one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
The public gallery at Westminster Magistrates' Court was packed with supporters as a number of journalists made their first appearances.
Savage, from East Dulwich, south-east London, was charged last week with former News of the World crime editor Lucy Panton, 38, from Ashtead, Surrey, who faces one count of the same offence.
Prosecutors claim prison officer Scott Chapman and his ex-partner Lynn Gaffney received thousands of pounds from a number of newspapers.
Chapman, 41, from Corby in Northamptonshire, is accused of having sold the information to the News of the World, the Sun, the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror, the People, the Daily Star and the Star on Sunday between March 2010 and June 2011, receiving payments through Gaffney.
He and Gaffney, 38, also from Corby, each face four counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
In a separate case, Sun journalist Chris Pharo, 44, faces accusations that he authorised payments to public officials employed at Broadmoor secure hospital, Thames Valley, Surrey and Metropolitan Police, Army officers, and prison officials between January 2006 and December 2010.
Pharo, from Wapping, east London, who was news editor and then head of news at the Sun, faces one charge of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
In a third case, Sun journalist Jamie Pyatt, 49, and pictures editor John Edwards, 49, were in court to face an allegation that they conspired to pay public officials.
It is claimed that between March 22, 2002, and January 12, 2011, both conspired with unknown public officials employed at Broadmoor, as well as employees at Thames Valley and Surrey Police forces, and Army officials, to commit misconduct in a public office.
Pyatt, of Orchard Avenue, Windsor, and Edwards, of Hutton, Brentwood, Essex, are accused along with a former healthcare assistant at Broadmoor, Robert Neave, 59, from Knowsley in Merseyside, who is due to appear at the same court later this afternoon.
Sun journalist Nick Parker and prison officer Lee Brockhouse, who was based at HMP Swaleside in Kent, also appeared this morning.
Parker, 52, from Twickenham, south-west London, faces three counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, and Brockhouse, 43, from Sittingbourne in Kent, is accused of misconduct in public office.
All nine defendants who were in court this morning were released on bail to appear at the Old Bailey on 6 August.

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