Ben O’Driscoll charged with allegedly approving payments to police and officials at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital
By Josh Halliday
The Sun’s former deputy news editor, Ben O’Driscoll, has appeared in court charged with allegedly approving payments in excess of £5,000 to police and officials at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.
O’Driscoll sat in the glass-encased dock at Westminster magistrates court, in central London, for a brief hearing on Wednesday over charges arising from Scotland Yard’s Operation Elveden inquiry.
He is accused of conspiring with Sun journalists and public officials, including Broadmoor staff and police officers, to commit misconduct in public office between 9 August 2007 and 11 January 2011.
Prosecutors have alleged that O’Driscoll authorised payments of at least £5,000 for “details about police incidents and crime, including information about high-profile individuals and those associated with them” and information about the health and activities of Broadmoor patients.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot sent O’Driscoll, who now works for the Daily Mail, for a preliminary hearing listed for Wednesday afternoon at the Old Bailey.
He is expected to appear at the hearing alongside nine other individuals including a former Daily Mirror journalist, an ex-managing editor of the Sun and two reporters from the News UK tabloid who are all facing charges relating to alleged unlawful payments to public officials for stories.
O’Driscoll, wearing a maroon tie and black suit, made no comment as he left the court building.
His lawyer, Stephanie Roe, told the court he “wants this matter dealt with as soon as possible”. He has been released on unconditional bail.
O’Driscoll became the 14th current or former Sun journalist charged in connection