Sally Murrer and Mark Kearney deliver “not guilty” pleas

A former detective at the centre of an MP bugging row denied leaking stories to a local newspaper reporter when he appeared before a judge today.

Mark Kearney is accused of eight counts of wilful misconduct in a public office.

The ex-detective sergeant’s son, another former detective, and a reporter are all jointly charged in connection with the alleged leaks.

Kearney Snr, his son, Harry, local newspaper reporter Sally Murrer and policeman-turned-private investigator Derek Webb, all appeared alongside each other in the same dock.

Each of them spoke only to confirm his or her name and to state “not guilty” as each charge was put to them.

Mark Kearney, a former detective sergeant with Thames Valley Police, denied eight counts of misconduct between 1 July 2006 and 9 May 2007.

Murrer, a mother-of-three and part time journalist with the Milton Keynes Citizen, denied three charges of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring Kearney to commit the offence.

Webb denied five counts of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring while Harry Kearney, a soldier in the Royal Engineers, denied one similiar count.

He also denied a separate charge, of possession of a class A drug, relating to the alleged discovery of four Ecstasy tablets in a raid on his home in connection with the other matters.

Judge Charles Tilling, sitting at Kingston Crown Court, confirmed the four defendants would go on trial on 3 November, in a hearing expected to last four weeks.

Leading the prosecution will be controversial former director of public prosecutions, Sir Allan Green.

Kearney hit the headlines at the end of last year over the bugging of Labour MP Sadiq Khan while on a visit to a friend and constituent being held on terror charges at Woodhill Prison, Milton Keynes.

Kearney Snr, Kearney Jnr, Murrer and Webb were all released on bail until the trial date.

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