John Butterfield QC defended the right of journalists to pay whistleblowers for stories in the public interest on 31st October 2014. Representing a reporter who has been accused of paying a prison officer for information on Jon Venables, went on to say “ It is necessary and appropriate to reimburse whistleblowers against the risk they are going to get the sack. The issues that this prosecution would seek to trample over are as serious as it gets in a democratic country.’

The reporter is accused of paying prison officer Scott Chapman, 42, for information on Venable while he was in prison for child porn offences in 2010. The Journalist denies conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

John Butterfield QC told the court that journalist’s role in society are “We need them to be brave, we need them to be pushing at the edges”

The trial continues.

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