Citizen reporter, police officer and son charged

A Citizen reporter, a former city detective and his son were charged yesterday (Monday) in connection with misconduct in a public office.

They were arrested in May following a joint investigation by Thames Valley Police's Professional Standards Department and Hertfordshire Police into allegations of sensitive information being leaked to the media and other parties.

Former Thames Valley Police Detective Sergeant Mark Kearney, aged 48, from Wadworth Holme, Middleton, was charged with eight counts of wilful misconduct in a public office and Citizen reporter Sally Murrer, aged 49, was charged with three counts of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office.

Harry Kearney, a 20-year-old, from Waterbeach Barracks in Cambridgeshire, was been charged with one count of aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring misconduct in a public office.

He was also charged with possession of a Class A drug.

In addition, Derek Webb, aged 53, of Springfield Crescent, Harpenden, Herts, has been charged with five counts of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office.

All four have been released on bail and will appear before Kingston-Upon-Thames Magistrates Court on November 15.

A spokesman for Johnston Press, which owns the Citizen, said: "Yesterday's announcement comes as a surprise to those who know and have worked with Sally Murrer in her many years with Johnston Press and who have experienced her dedication and professionalism.

"We have no doubt that Sally will wish to clear her name of this damaging accusation and to that end Johnston Press will continue to support her both morally and in terms of financial assistance to pay for legal advice and representation.

"In view of the fact that proceedings are now active, it is unlikely that we shall make any further comment, at least for the time being."