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Sun crime reporter found guilty of paying Heathrow police officer for tips

Anthony France, crime reporter at The Sun, has been found guilty of aiding and abetting a Heathrow-based police officer to commit misconduct, a judge at the Old Bailey has ruled.

France stood accused of cultivating a corrupt relationship with PC Timothy Edwards between March 2008 and July 2011.

Edwards, who was working at the airport in SO15 counter terrorism command, was said to have sold 38 stories and pieces of information to the journalist in exchange for more than £22,000

One such story – which ran on The Sun’s front page in March 2010 – reported on a ‘Heathrow sex scandal’ and detailed a member of staff who was using the x-ray body scanners to ogle a female colleagues breasts.

The court was told that Edwards was paid up £1,200 for the story which was later found to be inaccurate.

Edwards was also accused of accessing the police database and crime reports to sell France personal details of victims as well as perpetrators.

France had denied the charges throughout the trial, saying he was a "man of good character not involved in crime" and would never have bought story tips if he had known it was illegal.

The Old Bailey trial was part of the Metropolitan Police's Operation Elveden, which is investigating alleged illegal payments to police and officials.

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