London: In January 2013, a British senior police officer became the first person prosecuted as a result of the UKs £40m, phone-hacking investigation. Detective Chief Inspector, April Casburn, 53, was accused of trying to sell confidential information from the phone-hacking inquiry, set up in 2010, to the now defunct News of the World.
During her trial the court heard Casburn had phoned the paper and disclosed that six people were being investigated. These included Andy Coulson, a former News of the World editor who was, at the time, Prime Minister David Cameron's communications director.
Back in court for sentencing Ms Casburn has been given a 15-month jail term.
When she was convicted in January, of misconduct in public office, the judge warned Casburn that she could face a five-year jail term. She was obviously shocked at the prospect. Her defense for her actions was that she had acted as a 'whistle blower'. She claimed that she contacted the newspaper out of public interest. The court did not believe this.
Sentencing her, Friday, 'Mr Justice Fulford told her it was "a corrupt attempt to make money out of sensitive and potentially very damaging information".' Although no money changed hands this was simply because the paper did not publish her story. The judge told Casburn he had no doubt that, if offered, she would have taken the money. Her actions importantly could have damaged the corruption investigations.
Her legal team had pushed for a suspended sentence.
Her arrest as part of Operation Elveden was one of 59. Further court cases are expected.
Was April Casburn's case treat more severely due to the involvement of Cameron and Coulson? Only time will tell.