British officer gets prison in phone hacking case

LONDON — A senior police officer in Scotland Yard’s counterterrorism command, Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn, was sentenced to a 15-month prison term Friday for seeking cash payments from Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid in return for information about a Scotland Yard investigation into phone hacking at the paper.

A unanimous jury verdict after a four-day trial made Casburn, 53, the first person to be convicted of a criminal offense in the phone hacking scandal that has enveloped Murdoch’s media empire in Britain. The judge told Casburn that she would have drawn a three-year term if she were not in the process of adopting a child.

At the trial, the jury was told that evidence was provided to Scotland Yard by an internal investigative unit established by Murdoch’s News Corp., which was started as part of Murdoch’s pledge in 2011 that his firm would give police any incriminating information that it came across.