A former staff member of Wandsworth police who passed on celebrity secrets which ended up in the national press has been sentenced to a two-year conditional discharge.

Ex-police worker Paul Marshall, 39, of Christchurch Road, Streatham, pleaded guilty to offences relating to misconduct in a public office.

He was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on April 15, along with three other men who were also involved in the information scam. Each was given a two-year conditional discharge.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service's anti-corruption command unit investigated allegations of the passing of police information to private investigation agencies.

While working in the control room at Wandsworth police station, Marshall used the police national computer to obtain data on a number of people and dished out this information to private investigation agencies, which then sold it on to national newspapers.

Among the information obtained and disclosed by the gang of four was data about actor Ricky Tomlinson's son, Big Brother contestant Jade Goody's estranged father, and the past of Eastenders actress Jessie Wallace.

The information was passed on to the News of the World, the Sunday Mirror and the Mail on Sunday.

Alan King, 59, a private investigator from Coulsden, Surrey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal misconduct in a public office. He had previously worked alongside Marshall at Wandsworth police station before retiring in 1996.

Two other men, John Boyall, 52, from Bletchingley in Surrey, and Stephen Whittamore, 56, from New Milton in Hampshire both private investigators pleaded guilty to Section 55 Data Protection Act offences.

The prosecution told the court how the information was passed on to newspapers via the defendants, starting with Marshall who was able to access personal details on the police's computer system.

Marshall, Boyall and Whittamore were arrested at the end of August, 2003. King was arrested in November 2003. In February last year the four men were charged with a number of offences relating to the leaked information.