Met officer handed 12 month sentence for selling stories to The Sun

Metropolitan police officer Thomas Ridgeway has been jailed for 12 months for selling information to The Sun newspaper.

Ridgeway sold two stories to the tabloid, one about an actor who tried to kill himself, and another about alleged sexual activity by police officers at a pub, the Old Bailey heard.

He pleaded guilty earlier this year but his crime and his sentencing in May could not be reported until now for legal reasons.

Ridgeway 31, involved his mother as a conduit to the tabloid newspaper. He persuaded her that it was normal for police officers to sell gossip like stories to The Sun and that the worst punishment he could receive was “a slap on the wrist.”

The judge said Ridgeway was of previous good character, and served with the police from September 2002.

“You have lost your career and lost your good character,” the judge told him. “You effectively had two paymasters, as the prosecution put it – your employers, the Metropolitan police, and the Sun.”

He sentenced Ridgeway to 12 months on count one and three months on count two, with the sentences to be concurrent, making 12 months in all.

Following the £5.4 million (€6.7 million) Levenson Inquiry, Ridgeway’s sentencing brings the number of officials who have been sentenced for selling stories to newspapers to 11.

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