Sun colleagues and journalists celebrate Pyatt and Pharo acquittals - but condemn 'utterly disgraceful' treatment - Press Gazette

Sun colleagues and journalists celebrate Pyatt and Pharo acquittals - but condemn 'utterly disgraceful' treatment

Sun colleagues and fellow journalists are celebrating the acquittals of Chris Pharo and Jamie Pyatt this afternoon.

But many have also expressed anger at the way they have been treated over the last four years.

Reporter Pyatt was arrested by the Metropolitan Police under Operation Elveden in November 2011 and then charged by the Crown Prosecution Service in June 2013. Pharo, a news editor, was arrested in January 2012 and charged in July 2013.

They were among six journalists involved in a three-month trial in Kingston in late 2014. When the jury was unable to reach a verdict earlier this year, a retrial was ordered for Pyatt and Pharo alongside two colleagues.

In April, the majority of Operation Elveden cases against journalists were dropped. But Pharo and Pyatt, along with Anthony France – who was later found guilty – were told they would still face retrial.

Their retrial began on 22 September and today, just less than four years after Pyatt was first arrested, they were found not guilty.

Daily Mail journalist Matt Nixson tweeted: "Very good news from the Old Bailey this morning re Pharo/Pyatt trial. Can't believe it has taken four years for common sense to prevail."

Sun investigations editor Brian Flynn said: "My [Sun] friends Chris Pharo and Jamie Pyatt rightly cleared at Old Bailey. Justice done. Thank you jury."

Former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan said he was "very happy" and described them as "two great journalists and very good guys".

Both Pharo and Pyatt made negative comments about the Met Police and CPS outside of the Old Bailey today.

And Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun's political editor, said: "If [Director of Public Prosecutions] Alison Saunders has an ounce of decency in her, she should resign today."

Former News of the World executive Neil Wallis tweeted: "How utterly disgraceful that these two men and their families have had their lives wrecked by venal vengeful MET/CPS."

Two journalists have been convicted under Operation Elveden – Dan Evans, who pleaded guilty to phone-hacking and paying public officials but avoided jail after giving evidence, and France – and both avoided prison.

But, according to Press Gazette research, at least 30 public official newspaper sources have been convicted, with many jailed.

Tom Savage, another journalist cleared over payments to public officials, said: "Brilliant news for Jamie Pyatt and Chris Pharo but Op Elveden hell CONTINUES for public officials. Don't think it's over."



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