A tabloid journalist from Ashtead, a prison officer who allegedly sold information and his ex-partner appeared in court today.

Lucy Panton, 38, from Ashtead, Scott Chapman an officer at Woodhill prison and his ex-partner Lynn Gaffney are charged with conspiring together to commit misconduct in public office in August and September 2010.

Ms Panton, former News of the World crime editor, and four other journalists accused of paying public officials appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.

Ms Panton was arrested at her home in December 2011 as part of Scotland Yard's Operation Elveden into alleged unlawful provision of information by public officials to journalists.

The former crime editor, who worked at News of the World until its closure following the phone hacking scandal, is scheduled to appear at the Old Bailey on Aug 6.

It is alleged that Mr Chapman sold information largely related to a high profile prisoner to tabloids, including News of the World, The Sun, The Mirror and Daily Star, between March 2010 and June 2011.

Payments were allegedly received through Ms Gaffney.

Mr Chapman and Ms Gaffney face counts of conspiring with journalists at The Sun and Trinity Mirror Group as well as Daily Star on Sunday deputy editor Tom Savage to commit misconduct in public office.

The pair are alleged to have received 13 payments, totalling £9,300, from News International in respect of 11 articles published in the News of the World and The Sun.

They also are alleged to have received 13 payments, totalling £12,800, from Express Newspapers and £13,050 in payments from The Trinity Mirror newspaper group.

The Sun's head of news Chris Pharo has been charged with conspiring with journalists and high security Broadmoor Hospital officials, Thames Valley employees, police, army officers and prison officials to commit misconduct in public office.

Journalist Jamie Pyatt, pictures editor John Edwards, both from The Sun, and Robert Neave, a former healthcare assistant at high-security Broadmoor Hospital, are charged with conspiring together, with others, to commit misconduct in public office.