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Operation Elveden: CPS statement on Richard Trunkfield

19/02/2013

Alison Levitt, QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), oversees CPS decision making and all potential prosecutions in relation to the ongoing phone hacking investigations and other related matters.

Ms Levitt said: "This statement is made in the interests of transparency and accountability to explain the decisions reached in respect of cases arising from Operation Elveden, which is the Metropolitan Police Service investigation into allegations involving the unlawful provision of information by public officials to journalists. 

"This announcement relates to a file of evidence received from the Metropolitan Police Service. The investigation in this case was overseen by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. A charging file in respect of this matter was received by the CPS on 4 January 2013.

"We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence, that Richard Trunkfield, who was a Prison Operational Support Officer at HMP Woodhill, should be charged with an offence of committing misconduct in public office. 

"It is alleged that in 2010, Mr Trunkfield provided information to The Sun newspaper in breach of the terms of his employment and was paid £3,350.

"The charge relates to an allegation that Mr Trunkfield provided details to the newspaper about a high profile prisoner. 

"All of these matters were considered carefully in accordance with the DPP's guidelines on the public interest in cases affecting the media. These guidelines require prosecutors to consider whether the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the overall criminality before bringing criminal proceedings.

"Accordingly, we have authorised the institution of proceedings and Mr Trunkfield will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on a date to be determined. 

"May I remind all concerned that proceedings for a criminal offence involving Mr Trunkfield will now be commenced and that he has a right to a fair trial. It is very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial. For these reasons, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further."

The full charge is as follows: 

Between 2 March 2010 and 30 April 2010, Richard Trunkfield, being a public officer (namely a Prison Operational Support Officer) and acting as such, without reasonable excuse or justification, wilfully misconducted himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the publics trust in that office, contrary to common law.

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