LONDON -- A senior police officer in Scotland Yard's counterterrorism command was sentenced to a 15-month prison term on Friday for seeking cash payments from Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid in return for information about a Scotland Yard investigation into phone hacking at the paper.
A unanimous jury verdict after a four-day trial last month made Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn, 53, the first person to be convicted of a criminal offense in the phone hacking scandal, which has enveloped Mr. Murdoch's newspaper domain in Britain for 30 months. The judge told Inspector Casburn that she would have drawn a three-year term if she did not have a 3-year-old child who was still moving through the adoption process.
At the trial, the jury was told that evidence implicating Inspector Casburn was provided to Scotland Yard by an internal investigative unit, known as the management and standards committee, that was established by Mr. Murdoch's News Corporation as part of his pledge to give the police any incriminating information that it came across as it examined millions of e-mails and other documents relating to the hacking scandal.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said Inspector Casburn, who continued to draw her $102,000-a-year salary during the trial, would now face an internal dismissal procedure. In a statement after her sentencing, Scotland Yard said Inspector Casburn had "betrayed the service and let down her colleagues." It said her prison term "sends a strong message that the leaking of confidential information for personal gain is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated."
Inspector Casburn, who was impassive as the judge pronounced sentence, had told the court that she had telephoned The News of the World in September 2010 because she was angry that her superiors had decided to divert money and resources from counterterrorism operations to the phone hacking scandal, and thought that she was acting in the public interest.world
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.