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Ex-Cop Gets to Two Years in Jail for Taking News Corp. Bribes

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- A U.K. police officer who accepted bribes in exchange for information on public figures including Kate Middleton was sentenced to two years in jail as part of a probe into wrongdoing at a News Corp. tabloid.

Paul Flattley, a former police officer, contacted the Sun tabloid 39 times and was paid 7,600 pounds ($11,700) from 2008 to 2011, U.K. police said in a statement today. At a hearing in March prosecutors said he also gave the newspaper information on soccer player Paul Gascoigne and politician Ann Widdecombe.

“Flattley abused his privileged position as a police officer and the stories he sold had nothing to do with whistle-blowing or the public interest,” Gordon Briggs, a detective chief superintendent in the Metropolitan Police Service, said in a statement today.

The jail term, which was handed down in March, was reported today as prosecutors dropped charges of bribing a public official in the same case against Virginia Wheeler, the defense editor at the Sun, on medical grounds. Wheeler would have challenged the allegations had they gone to trial, her lawyers said at a hearing today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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