Questions are being asked today about why Milton Keynes Citizen journalist Sally Murrer has spent the last 19-months with the threat of a jail sentence hanging over her. Charges against her of “aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office” were thrown out at Kingston Crown Court in Surrey this week.
Murrer was accused of encouraging a police officer to leak confidential information but she, and the officer, were cleared after a judge ruled that Thames Valley Police had no right to bug their conversation. NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said today: “This judgment sends a clear message to the authorities: they must recognise the importance of free and open journalism. Hard questions must now be asked of the police and CPS as to why these costly proceedings were allowed to get so far.”
Sadly, Press Gazette which has championed Sally Murrer's case, reports here today: "She feels so psychologically scarred by the episode that she now questions whether she will be able to work as a journalist again." People should be as angry about this as they are about the arrest of Damian Green. It is an absolute disgrace.