Robert Norman's story
In June 2015, Robert Norman – a Belmarsh Prison officer turned whistleblower - was jailed for misconduct in public office after passing information to Mirror reporter Stephen Moyes, about public interest stories at HMP Belmarsh, including concerns about safety and security.
Moyes was charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office in connection with payments to Mr Norman for stories he believed were in the public interest, but the Crown Prosecution Service later decided to drop the case.
Both men came to the attention of police as part of Operation Elveden, after Trinity Mirror bosses revealed the identity of Mr Norman in clear breach of the legal convention to protect confidential sources – one of the basic conditions for press freedom.
Operation Elveden resulted in 34 public officials being convicted. Norman’s conviction and the decision of Trinity Mirror to turn over their source sets a dangerous precedent for public officials and journalists alike, who seek to hold the state and individuals to account for wrongdoing, or find themselves compelled to reveal information in the public interest.
Garden Court Chambers barristers, Henry Blaxland QC, Keir Monteith and Lucie Wibberley are seeking to overturn Robert Norman’s conviction at the European Court of Human Rights on the basis his Article 10 rights to freedom of expression were breached under the European Convention of Human Rights.
Why should you support Robert Norman?
To preserve freedom of the press and the rights of journalistic sources so no one fears prosecution for speaking to a newspaper.
How will the money be used?
We are crowdfunding to pay Mr Norman's legal aid contributions incurred during the original crown court proceedings. However, his lawyers will continue to act pro bono, instructed by Powell Spencer Solicitors, for Robert's appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
Media coverage on Robert Norman's case
Read more about Robert Norman's case:
- Counsel Magazine - What price freedom of speech?
- The Press Gazette - Prison officer 'turned over' to police by Trinity Mirror goes to European Court to fight for right to anonymity for journalists
- The Conversation - Why journalists must be allowed to pay and reward their sources
- Garden Court Website (Press Release) - Jailed whistle-blower in plea for press freedoms as supporters launch crowdfunding campaign