Handing down the jail term on Friday morning, Mr Justice Fulford said "the sentence would have been three years", but he had taken into account the fact that a "vulnerable child" which Casburn and her husband were in the process of adopting would be left without her mother while she served her sentence.I am disappointed in the sentence: 15 months, of which presumably she'll serve less than a year. On the other hand, being a publically disgraced police officer in prison is a punishment all of its own. While I suppose she'd be eligible for Open status, being an unlikely flight risk, I would have thought a Cat A or B regime is more likely simply for her own security.
It seems that her attempt to pull the wool over the judge's eyes and claim a public interest defence was not successful:
Casburn denied asking for money and no story ever appeared.I do like the judge calling out the "disinterested" point in particular, noting that Wood had no motive for adding a financial aspect to the call if there had not in fact been one. While understanding why Casburn wanted to give that mitigation a try, I do wonder what her defending QC advised her on this point; I suspect he knew Mr. Justice Fulford was a sharp cookie, and had a pretty good idea how this tactic would turn out. It would be interesting to read the court transcripts and count how many "I am instructed by my client..." caveats he used.
But [Mr. Justice] Fulford said he found [journalist] Wood to be a "reliable and honest and disinterested witness", who had taken the trouble to make a careful note of the conversation to pass on to his boss amid understandable suspicions that the call could have been part of a sophisticated operation to catch the paper out for corruption.
You've got to feel sorry for soon-to-be-ex-DCI Casburn's family as she is sent off to the care of Her Majesty's Prison Service; the next year is going to be very tough, and the loss of her salary and pension will no doubt hit them hard financially. On the other hand, there's only one person who brought this on them.