Reporter avoids jail for prison tip

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Published: Thursday 11th December 2014 by The News Editor

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A News of the World journalist who wrote two stories about James Bulger killer Jon Venables’s cushy life behind bars has avoided jail after becoming the first reporter to be found guilty of paying a corrupt public official for tips.

The journalist, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office last month following a trial at the Old Bailey.

The defendant was accused of paying prison officer Scott Chapman for information about Venables after he was sent back to prison in 2010 for child porn offences.

Chapman, 42, who made £40,000 from selling information to various newspapers, was convicted of misconduct in a public office alongside his ex-partner Lynn Gaffney, 40, who let him to use her bank account to channel payments.

Handing the reporter a six month sentence suspended for a year, Judge Charles Wide said: “It’s obvious that you knew perfectly well Scott Chapman was a prison officer.”

Chapman was jailed for three and a half years and Gaffney to 13 weeks.

Published: Thursday 11th December 2014 by The News Editor

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