openDemocracyUK

The Sun trials - Friday 25th September 2015 - the Crown's case concludes

Officer 2044 was paid for information on 13 stories, including a rape allegation against Mick Hucknall.

Martin Hickman
25 September 2015
money TRIAL.jpg

Flickr/ Jonas. Some rights reserved.Friday 25th September 2015

A lawyer today closed the prosecution case against two Sun journalists accused of entering into a "corrupt relationship with a detective".

Four days after the trial of Jamie Pyatt and Chris Pharo began at the Old Bailey, Stuart Biggs concluded the Crown's case against them by asking a Scotland Yard witness about phone evidence.

Detective Inspector Daniel Smith, senior investigating officer for Operation Elveden, the Yard's inquiry into newspaper payments to public officials, explained that phone data in the case came from Jamie Pyatt's mobile phone, the mobile phone of the detective constable, and from network providers.

Phone records show that Mr Pyatt spoke to the constable he paid, referred to in court as Officer 2044, around the time that stories for which he provided information were published in the Sun.

Mr Pyatt, the Sun's Thames Valley reporter, and Mr Pharo, assistant editor (news), deny aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office.

The case revolves around thousands of pounds of cash Mr Pyatt handed to Officer 2044, a detective constable with Surrey police, between 2002 and 2011.

Much of the morning was taken up with legal argument.

After jurors filed back into court at 12.25am, Det Insp Smith, spent 15 minutes in the witness box on the phone evidence.

Richard Kovalevsky QC, for Mr Pyatt, 51, then told the jury that his client would be giving evidence after Mr Pharo put his case.

In the meantime, Mr Kovalevsky explained, he would spend today's session reading out relevant stories written by Mr Pyatt.

Some of the 13 Sun stories his client accepts Officer 2044 was paid for had previously been read to the jury.

Mr Kovalevsky read aloud stories about a police investigation into an allegation of rape against the singer Mick Hucknall and the finding of a body in a river during the Milly Dowler investigation.

Mr Kovalevsky's junior, Jamas Hodivala, read out two further stories about Milly Dowler: about the arrest of a suspect, and about M25 rapist Tony Imiela being her possible assailant ("Did Beast Kill Milly Dowler?").

Mr Hodivala also read out an exclusive by Mr Pyatt about a police officer trying to date women online while on trial for rape, and another article, "Abi Suspect in Court," about a man arrested on suspicion of the stabbing of Abigail Witchalls.

Mr Hodivala read out an article about a burglary at the home of Chelsea footballer Paula Ferreira ("Blues Ace Robbed) and about a plot to poison the businesswoman Jacqueline Gold.

The trial is not sitting on Monday. Mr Pharo, 46, is expected to begin his defence on Tuesday.

 

See openDemocracyUK's full series on the Sun trials here.

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