The Sun News International Operation Tuleta

Ex-Sun journalist on trial over 'stolen' mobile phone

By James Doleman |

August 7, 2014 | 3 min read

The trial of former Sun reporter Ben Ashford, 34, for the alleged theft of a mobile phone began this morning at the Old Bailey in London.

Trial: The central criminal court

Ashford, who was arrested in 2012, faces two charges relating to the alleged theft of a mobile phone belonging to a person who cannot be named for legal reasons, and he is the first person to appear in court as a result of Operation Tuleta, the Metropolitan police's investigation into alleged criminal acts that "intrude on individual privacy for journalistic purposes".

The reporter, who was charged with "possession of criminal property" and unauthorised attempts to access data stored on the Apple iPhone, which is legally classified as a computer. Asford was employed at the Sun from 2006 until 2010 before going to New York to work for wire service Newscore, which is also owned by News International.

The trial is the first of a series arising from Operation Tuleta and another police probe "Operation Elevdon" with further hearings - unconncted to Ashford - scheduled over charges of bribing public officials from Broadmoor Hospital, Thames Valley police, Surrey police, the Metropolitan Police, the armed forces and prison officers against reporters from various tabloid newspapers.

The jury was sworn in this morning and the prosecution will be opened their case at 2pm. The trial is expected to last two and a half days.

The defendant denies all of the charges. The trial continues.

The Sun News International Operation Tuleta

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