A SENIOR counter-terrorism detective has been jailed for 15 months for offering to sell information to the News of the World.

Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn, of Terling Road, Hatfield Peverel, was the first person to be convicted under fresh investigations into corruption and phone hacking at the now defunct newspaper.

She was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday for misconduct in public office. Casburn, 53, had denied the charge but was convicted after trial.

During the trial, she had admitted contacting the News of the World in September 2010, claiming she was worried resources for fighting terrorism might be wasted on the phone hacking inquiry, which her colleagues saw “as a bit of a jolly”.

The court heard she told the tabloid’s newsdesk six people were under investigation, but no money changed hands and the information was not printed.

Mr Justice Fulford told her it was “a corrupt attempt to make money out of sensitive and potentially very damaging information”. He said she would have been jailed for three years had she not been in the process of adopting a child.

He added: “If the News of the World had accepted her offer, it’s clear, in my view, Ms Casburn would have taken the money and, as a result, she posed a significant threat to the integrity of this important police investigation.”

In a statement, the Met Police said: “There is no place for corrupt officers or staff in the Metropolitan Police Service.

“April Casburn proactively approached the News of the World, the very newspaper being investigated, to make money.

“She betrayed the service and let down her colleagues.

“Fortunately this type of behaviour is rare, but we hope today’s verdict shows the public can have confidence that the service holds itself to account.”