Geoff Webster, deputy editor of The Sun, was arrested over three years ago under the archaic law of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
His‘crime’ was to authorise payments requested by the revered senior reporter John Kay to his source described as a ‘military contact’ for articles which had been published in the newspaper. Geoff has always respected the age old principle of confidentiality of sources and did not know the name or details of the contact.
He was cleared by an Old Bailey jury last week and fully exonerated in respect of the two charges against him.
Janes Solicitors ably assisted by the robust Geoffrey Cox QC submitted from the very outset that the law under which Geoff was charged was vague, oppressive, not fit for purpose and a restriction on traditional British values of freedom of the press – and as such were in violation of articles 7 and 10 of the ECHR and disproportionate to the allegations and heavy handed.
These representations went unheeded and Geoff was put on trial – a great burden to himself and his family – and at great expense to the tax payer.
Geoff gained nothing personally from his authorisations and he was simply doing his job as an editor yet he has been dragged through three years of trauma to clear his name.
We at Janes are firmly of the view that Geoff Webster should never have been prosecuted and such action by the state was not commensurate or ever justified.
Published: 25th March 2015