PC jailed for selling celebrity stories to Sun

Paul Flattley: Behaviour was described as 'reprehensible'. Picture: PA
Paul Flattley: Behaviour was described as 'reprehensible'. Picture: PA
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A POLICE officer who sold information linked to a string of high-profile figures including Kate Middleton has been jailed, it can now be reported.

Details of former Metropolitan Police Constable Paul Flattley’s two-year sentence can be made public after a charge was dropped against a Sun journalist who had been accused of paying him.

Yesterday at Southwark Crown Court, the charge against Sun defence editor Virginia Wheeler of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office was dropped.

This followed medical reports which had been sought by both the prosecution and defence.

James Wood QC, for Wheeler, told the court that she would have fought the charges had the case gone ahead.

Flattley, 30, was paid thousands of pounds for information between 2008 and 2011.

He passed on details about high-profile cases, as well as checking out tip-offs that the tabloid had received.

This included investigating whether additional security had been put in place around the Duchess of Cambridge’s London home in September 2010, amid rumours that Prince William was set to propose.

He also passed on details linked to the drugs death of teenager Isobel Jones-Reilly.

The 15-year-old died in 2011 after taking Ecstasy at an unsupervised party at the west London home of university lecturer Brian Dodgeon.

A statement by the teenager’s mother Lynne Jones was read to the court, which said: “It’s very hard to comprehend that anyone would see fit to provide details about our daughter to journalists for monetary gain. The fact that this information was sold to the press by a police officer is even more shocking.

“We expect the police to protect our privacy. Instead this individual has just compounded our suffering and distress.”

Flattley, from Stockport in Cheshire, earned £8,636 for passing information to the Sun, including details linked to 19 active investigations.

He was also asked to check out false rumours about footballer John Terry and former MP Ann Widdecombe.

Flattley sold details about ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne being sectioned under the Mental Health Act, a car break-in suffered by royal Zara Phillips, and which police station Arsenal footballer Jack Wilshere was taken to when he was arrested for assault.

Other stories concerned pop star Mika when his sister fell from a window, and the boyfriend of singer Lisa Maffia being stabbed.

Jailing Flattley for two years, Mr Justice Fulford told him his behaviour was “utterly reprehensible”.

He said: “In my judgment this defendant was utterly indifferent as to whether his actions would harm particular police investigations and the course of justice and overall he did not care what effect his activities would have on the victims and others involved in the various cases about which he provided information.”