Bettina Jordan Barber is married to an Army officer, and had high-level security clearance which allowed her access to highly-sensitive information. The 42-year-old was respected by colleagues, and advised the Royal Family on military matters when Princes William and Harry were serving in the armed forces, writes Gaetan Portal for the BBC.
The Sun: A long-standing, profitable relationship
A veteran chief reporter at the Sun, John Kay, says that Barber regularly delivered exclusive stories, and was paid accordingly. The story has just came to light after legal restrictions were lifted, and we now know that Barber provided information for 65 stories between January 2004 and August 2011, for which she was paid £100,000.
After her arrest in February 2012, Barber played a major role in the trial of ex-Sun editor Rebekah Brooks, which resulted in Brooks being cleared of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. Barber had already pleaded guilty to the same charge, but jurors were not allowed to know for legal reasons.
Shortly after starting work at the MoD in 1997, Barber had to sign the Official Secrets Act. This did not stop her abusing the information that she began to have access to as she rose through the ranks of the civil service, and she would regularly pitch sensitive army stories to her contact, John Kay.
Metropolitan Police: Operation Elveden
The Sun published a number of exclusive stories thanks to information supplied by Barber, and their variety goes to show just how much information Barber had access to. Once payments to Barber had been sanctioned by Brooks, they would be sent to a local branch of travel agent Thomas Cook, where Barber would collect her money.
After playing with fire for so many years, officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Elveden finally caught up with the Sun’s mole. Jordan Barber now has to come to terms with the fact that her career is over, she has been convicted and imprisoned, and her actions could also impact her Army officer husband’s chances of future promotions. As if that wasn’t enough, she will also be told to pay back the £100,000 she received from the Sun, plus interest.