It is one thing for a hack to buy a drink for a copper, maybe even dinner, it has been standard journalistic practice for centuries to loosen the tongues of coppers. However when a hundred thousand pounds works its way into the hands of “a small number” of officers, from one newspaper, there is a serious problem. In December last year Coulson was giving evidence in Tommy Sheridan’s trial for perjury. He was asked, on oath:
TS: Did the News of the World pay corrupt police officers?
AC: Not to my knowledge.
Yet in 2003 Coulson and Brooks admitted to paying coppers “within the law”:
He must be hoping his lawyers have a better grasp of illegality, as the Standard is reporting tonight that arrests are imminent, thanks to News International giving the police a paper trail leading right to his desk. Coulson could well be editing those rumoured “Days with Dave Diary” at Her Majesty’s pleasure…