Prison officer jailed for selling ‘gossip’ to tabloids about George Michael
A former prison officer who sold “salacious gossip” about inmates including George Michael has been jailed for 10 months.
41-year-old Reggie Nunkoo was paid £1,650 for selling stories to tabloids about George Michael, as well as Jack Tweed, and acid attacker Daniel Lynch, the Old Bailey heard.
According to his defence lawyer, Nunkoo’s wife had wanted “a better lifestyle… than Mr Nunkoo could provide on his wages”, so he sold stories to several tabloids including the Mirror and the Sun.
Among other stories, Nunkoo, formerly working in Pentonville Prison, approached Sun journalist Neil Millard information about how George Michael cried in his cell, as well as that he was moved to a “soft” prison, after being jailed in 2010 for driving under the influence of cannabis.
He was paid £600 by the Mirror for information he gave about Jack Tweed, Jade Goody’s widower, who was allegedly on suicide watch.
Nunkoo also received money from the Sun newspaper in 2011, for giving information about Daniel Lynch who was convicted following the acid attack on TV presenter Katie Piper.
He was told by the Common Serjeant of London that he had committed a “flagrant breach” of his contract.
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After admitting two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office, Nunkoo was ordered to pay £1,100.
Neil Millard, of the Sun and Graham Brough, of the Mirror were both cleared of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office following a trial last month.
Detective Chief Superintendant from the Metropolitan Police, Gordon Briggs said: “Nunkoo leaked confidential information obtained in the course of his duties to journalists for his own private financial gain.
“When public officials act in this way, they betray the trust placed in them and undermine public confidence.”