Former Uttlesford District Council PR man cleared of Sun newspaper corruption charge

John Troup

John Troup - Credit: Archant

A former Sun journalist who was fired from his council PR job after being arrested on an unproven corruption allegation has walked free from court.

John Troup, 49, from Saffron Walden, was last Friday cleared by a jury at Kingston Crown Court of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.

He had been accused of paying a prison officer for a story while working at the Sun newspaper.

Mr Troup, of Horn Brook, was the communications manager at Uttlesford District Council at the time of his arrest in August 2013. He was escorted off the premises before being summoned to a discplinary meeting two weeks later to be sacked.

Since then he has been supporting his family by working as a building labourer and an accounting assistant in a structural engineer’s office, while also slicing bacon at the weekends in a butcher’s shop.

Mr Troup and five other Sun journalists, including ex-managing editor Graham Dudman, ex-deputy news editor Ben O’Driscoll, head of news Chris Pharo, picture editor John Edwards and reporter Jamie Pyatt were charged following an investigation into payments to public officials by the newspaper.

Mr Edwards has also been cleared by the jury of any wrongdoing, while O’Driscoll and Dudman have been cleared of one charge each. Both await verdicts on two remaining charges. Pharo and Pyatt await verdicts on all charges.

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Pharo, 45, of Sandhurst in Berkshire, faces three counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

Dudman, 51, of Brentwood in Essex, Pyatt, 51, of Windsor in Berkshire, and O’Driscoll, 38, also of Windsor, remain charged with two counts each of the same offence.

When asked about Mr Troup’s dismissal, a spokesman from Uttlesford District Council said: “The council always follows its established disciplinary procedures and this case was no exception.

“The disciplinary procedures include a hearing at which the employee has the opportunity to put across their case and any mitigating circumstances, along with an appeal procedure which, in this case, was not taken up.”