Search

Kentish Town soldier in Prince Harry’s regiment ‘sold story tips to newspapers’

PUBLISHED: 13:19 10 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:51 10 February 2015

Paul Brunt, 32, served in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry with Prince Harry. Picture: PA

Paul Brunt, 32, served in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry with Prince Harry. Picture: PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A Kentish Town soldier in Prince Harry’s regiment was paid more than £16,000 to provide information and pictures about him to two newspapers, a court heard.

Paul Brunt, 32, of Bartholomew Road, then a lance corporal in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry, provided details about Harry and other soldiers in the unit to the News of the World (NOTW) and The Sun over an 18-month period in 2006 and 2007, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

The court heard that he was paid for information, pictures and tip-offs that led to stories appearing in the papers, and received other payments simply to “keep him sweet” as a valuable contact.

The court heard that he was the source of a picture for a 2006 story in the NOTW entitled Swastika Shame Of Harry’s Regiment, for which he was paid £5,000, and also provided info about the royal’s deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Brunt is standing trial accused of misconduct in a public office.

Ryan Sabey, 34, who was a NOTW royal reporter at the time, is standing trial alongside him, accused of assisting him.

Julian Christopher QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “It was the fact that this was the regiment that Prince Harry was in, which meant that any stories, or photos, or tip-offs about the regiment or about Prince Harry himself, however inconsequential they may seem, had a financial value to the two newspapers this case is concerned with, the News of the World and The Sun.”

Mr Christopher added that there were strict rules preventing serving soldiers talking to the press, adding: “Paul Brunt knew that full well, but none the less he provided the paper with inside information as an easy way to make money.”

He said over the period concerned Brunt was paid more than £16,000 by the two newspapers.

He continued: “Whether to do with the deployment of Prince Harry to Iraq and Afghanistan or ... stories about other soldiers in the regiment that were deemed newsworthy simply because the soldiers were in the same regiment as Prince Harry, he was receiving numerous payments over a long period of time, showing him to be a source of inside information.”

News International’s own accounting records show the payments being made, with £9,450 from the now defunct Sunday tabloid and £7,200 from The Sun, Mr Christopher said.

Addressing the charge against Sabey, the prosecution claim that he sent an email in which he described Brunt as “an extremely important contact” and requested cash payments be made to him, including £1,500 for a story about Prince Harry prior to deployment.

Mr Christopher said that Sabey “knew full well” that Brunt was not allowed to release information to the press.

The barrister added: “It is no legitimate part of a journalist’s job to entice or encourage a public officer into misconduct in his office.

“It is no defence to say others knew about it or others were doing it too.”

Brunt is accused of committing misconduct in a public office by entering into an arrangement with the NOTW to provide information in exchange for payment.

He is also charged with misconduct in a public office in relation to his dealings with The Sun.

Sabey, of Bethnal Green, is charged with aiding and abetting Brunt to commit misconduct in a public office in relation to the NOTW.

Both men deny all the charges against them.

The trial continues.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

09:48

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Yesterday, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Yesterday, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Yesterday, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.

Yesterday, 11:55

Passengers on the Barking to Gospel Oak line have become used to delays and disruption in recent times.

Wed, 17:58

A man has been convicted over the “senseless” stabbing of a Dutch man in Camden Lock in 2016.

Wed, 17:04

Camden Council will correct a sign that says a park will be closed every day at dusk, despite it having no way to shut it.

Wed, 13:01

A Cumbrian couple have been left scared for their property after receiving a bailiff’s letter demanding council tax for a Maida Vale property they have no connection to.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now