Kentish Town soldier acquitted of selling Prince Harry secrets to tabloids for £16,000
PUBLISHED: 10:55 18 December 2015
An Iraq War veteran from Kentish Town has been cleared of selling Prince Harry military secrets to tabloids for £16,000.
Paul Brunt, 33, was accused of being paid 31 times for tip-offs about the royal to Rupert Murdoch’s News International newspapers in 2006 and 2007.
Prosecutors claimed he used his position in the Household Cavalry to earn “easy money” in exchange for information on the prince.
But Mr Brunt’s barrister, Gordon Ross, said he only ever received £50 in cash from the News of the World and there was no evidence of what he leaked, or whether it ended up in the newspaper.
A jury acquitted him on Thursday of two counts of misconduct in public office after less than three hours of deliberation at the Old Bailey following the re-trial.
Mr Brunt, of Bartholomew Road, is the last public official to be tried as part of the Operation Elvedon investigation into alleged corruption between the press and public officials.
Mr Brunt had been convicted alongside News of the World reporter Ryan Sabey in February.
They successfully appealed the convictions, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) took Mr Brunt to a second trial after dropping the case against Mr Sabey.
Mr Brunt was accused of being paid £9,450 from the News of the World and £7,200 from The Sun between April 2006 and November 2007.
But Mr Ross, referring to one cash payment of £5,000 for a story about an officer dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, told the jury: “We don’t know who it was who actually received the money.”
The barrister argued that many of the stories allegedly passed on by Brunt were “tittle tattle,” while others were firmly in the public interest.
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