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Phone Hacking Scandal: British Detective’s Conviction the First in News of the World Case

London detective April Casburn is found guilty of leaking information to the defunct News Corp. tabloid, making her the first conviction in the phone-hacking scandal

A senior London police detective was convicted on Thursday of trying to sell information on an investigation into tabloid phone-hacking probe to the News of the World, the BBC reported.

Getty ImagesApril Casburn, a detective for the Metropolitan Police, called the now-defunct News Corporation tabloid after a probe into hacking by the newspaper reopened in 2010. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch shuttered the publication after a scandal surrounding its hacking into voicemails ballooned in 2011.

Justice Adrian Fulford of Southwark Crown Court in central London found the 53-year-old guilty of misconduct in public office. She was released on bail ahead of her sentencing.

This marks the first prosecution and conviction since Operation Elveden, a police investigation into payments by journalists to officials, led to the arrest of 53, including Casburn.

Casburn had called News of the World in September 2010 after Scotland Yard reopened an inquiry into allegations that the paper hacked into private voicemails in search of juicy headline fodder. At the time, she was managing the agency's national terrorist financial investigation unit.

Casburn denied asking for cash for the information — she said she contacted the newspaper out of public interest because she was angry that her superiors diverted officers' attention from counter-terrorism measures.

The newspaper did not print a story about it, nor did it pay Casburn for the tip.

The Metropolitan Police said Casburn's actions were could not be considered whistle-blowing.

"There may be occasions when putting certain information into the public domain — so-called whistle-blowing — can be justified," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement after the trial. "This is not one of them. Fortunately this type of behavior is rare but we hope today's verdict shows the public can have confidence that the MPS holds itself to account."