UK policewoman guilty of misconduct over call to tabloid

LONDON Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:43am EST

LONDON Jan 10 (Reuters) - A senior British counter-terrorism police officer was found guilty on Thursday of misconduct in public office over a call to the News of the World to discuss an investigation into phone-hacking by its reporters.

April Casburn, 53, a detective chief inspector, rang up the tabloid newspaper on Sept. 11, 2010, and disclosed various details of a confidential police probe that had just been launched and was the subject of intense media speculation.

The prosecution accused her of asking the paper for money and said her call was a "malicious" attempt to undermine the investigation because of her perception that she had been wronged and sidelined by police colleagues.

Casburn denied asking for payment and said her intention was to raise the alarm over what she viewed as a waste of counter-terrorism resources on the hacking investigation.

After hearing three days of evidence and arguments, a jury at London's Southwark Crown Court returned a verdict of guilty on one count of misconduct in public office, the Press Association reported.