| LONDON, March 27
LONDON, March 27 A former policemen and an
ex-prison officer were jailed on Wednesday for selling stories
to Rupert Murdoch's tabloid the Sun, Britain's top-selling
The two men were convicted as part of a wide-ranging police
investigation begun two years ago into claims journalists from
Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World newspaper had hacked
into mobile phone voicemail messages.
That inquiry has led to dozens of arrests of current and
former staff at News International, the British newspaper arm of
Murdoch's News Corp., and has been widened to examine
claims of illegal payments to public officials.
The long-running scandal forced the closure of the News of
the World and has called into question the judgment of British
Prime Minister David Cameron, who was friends with several of
Murdoch's senior executives.
Alan Tierney, a police constable based in Surrey to the
south of London, and Richard Trunkfield, who worked at a
high-security prison in central England, had both pleaded guilty
to misconduct in a public office last month.
Tierney, 40, was paid 1,250 pounds ($1,900) by the Sun for
providing details of the arrest of former England soccer captain
John Terry's mother on suspicion of shoplifting and the arrest
of Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood, who was held on suspicion of
beating up his lover.
The former policeman was jailed for 10 months.
"This case demonstrates that behaviour of this kind will not
be tolerated in the police service," said London's Metropolitan
Police, which is leading the inquiries.
Trunkfield, 31, provided information about Jon Venables, who
was aged 10 when he and another child killed a toddler in 1993
in one of the most infamous murders in Britain in recent times.
The prison officer, who had contact with a Sun journalist
between 10 and 15 times, receiving 3,500 pounds in the process,
was handed a 16-month sentence.
"It is most assuredly not for individual prison officers to
take it upon themselves to contact the press to reveal
information about a defendant in circumstances such as those
before the court today, still less to enrich themselves in the
process," said the judge, Justice Adrian Fulford.
Last month, April Casburn, 53, a senior British
counter-terrorism police officer, became the first person to be
convicted and jailed by detectives looking into the
phone-hacking claims and other related offences.
Rebekah Brooks, the former head of News International and a
close confidante of Murdoch, and Cameron's former media chief
Andy Coulson, are among those who have also been charged with
crimes relating to the inquiries.
They are due to go on trial later this year.