A policeman in the pay of the Sun newspaper said he would arrange for his colleagues to visit Kate Middleton's house to check a tip-off that Prince William was about to propose to her, it has emerged.
Former policeman Paul Flattley.
Paul Flattley, who was paid £7,600 by the Sun
for 39 stories over the course of three years, also told a journalist he would check the rumour with his former sergeant, who was Miss Middleton's protection officer.
He also tipped off the newspaper about a theft from Zara Phillips's car and about the death of a 15-year-old girl.
He was jailed for two years in March after admitting conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, but the details can only now be made public after reporting restrictions on the case were lifted.
He had been jointly charged with Virginia Wheeler, the Sun
's defence editor, who was accused of making several of the payments, but the Crown Prosecution Service announced today that it would not proceed with the case against her because she is unfit to stand trial.
Flattley, 30, began tipping off the newspaper within a year of joining the Metropolitan Police, the Old Bailey heard during his sentencing hearing.
In May 2008 he emailed the Sun
to say that the former England footballer Paul Gascoigne had been sectioned by police under the Mental Health Act.