Police to contact 419 people, including murderers, who are suspected victims of journalists paying officials for stories
he Duchess of Cambridge, Paul Gascoigne and the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, are being contacted by police to be told they are among 419 suspected victims of journalists allegedly paying public officials for stories, the Guardian understands.
Other suspected victims being contacted by detectives in Operation Elveden include the family of 15-year-old Isobel Reilly, who died of a drugs overdose at a party in London, Zara Phillips, Ian Brady and Jon Venables – information that could act as a prelude to legal action.
Those identified as suspected victims in Operation Elveden could be entitled to sue News UK, publishers of the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times, for compensation for damage suffered as a result of stories allegedly being sold about them. It is understood that between five and 10 claims for compensation are in the pipeline against News UK and one claim has been issued to the court from a victim in Elveden. It is not known who is involved in the various actions to date.
Commander Neil Basu, of the Metropolitan police, the senior officer running the linked operations Elveden, Weeting and Tuleta, revealed this week that detectives had identified 419 victims relating to Elveden. He said further arrests – fewer than 10 – were likely in the coming weeks and months
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said on Wednesday the force would not comment on the identity of the individuals identified as victims by police. But he added: "We can confirm we are in the process of contacting all the victims identified by Operation Elveden."
Seventy people have so far been arrested under Operation Elveden, including journalists, police officers, NHS staff and members of the armed forces.
At a high court hearing last month, Dinah Rose QC, for News Group Newspapers – now News UK – indicated that the company was aware of the claims from those identified by detectives as victims in Elveden. But she said the company would fight damages claims over what she termed "so-called" Elveden claims. "It is our intention to resist them. We will not be making offers of compensation," she told the high court.
Hugh Tomlinson QC, who represents the claimant group in the litigation against News UK, told the court that one claim had been lodged from an Elveden victim, and there were five to 10 in the pipeline. He said "what have been called Operation Elveden claims" were "claims which involve an allegation of corrupt payment by journalists to public officials".
Paul Flattley, a former Metropolitan police officer, was jailed for two years in March for selling information to the Sun about the Duchess of Cambridge, Gascoigne and the Tetra Pak heir Hans Rausing whose wife, Eva, died last year. He also sold information about O'Reilly, the 15-year-old girl who died after taking drugs. In a victim impact statement her family talked of their devastation at the way the information was released about her.
Last month at his mental health tribunal the Moors murderer Brady, who killed five children between 1963 and 1965, referred to stories being sold about him to journalists. "I was informed by a reliable source that they have discovered the mole," he said.
Venables, who with Robert Thompson murdered two-year-old James Bulger on Merseyside, is another high-profile killer who has been identified by detectives as having suffered as a result of stories being allegedly sold about him
Richard Trunkfield, a former operational support officer at a high-security prison near Milton Keynes, has pleaded guilty to passing on details about Venables and was given a 16-month prison sentence in May.
Sutcliffe, the serial killer jailed for murdering 13 women, who is being held at Broadmoor high security hospital, is understood to have been identified as a suspected victim by police.
Other victims include the Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and the mother of the Chelsea footballer John Terry, all of whom are being contacted or have already been contacted by police.
Last month the former Surrey police constable Alan Tierney, 40, was given a 10-month jail term after pleading guilty to selling details about high-profile people including Wood and Terry's mother.
OMG Murderers, pyschopaths and they call them victims!!!