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Royal household official jailed for accepting bribes

Former Royal Household official, Ronald Harper, accepted more than £100,000 in bribes. Credit: Hannah McKay/PA Wire

A former Royal Household official from Suffolk who accepted more than £100,000 in bribes to award contracts for work at royal residences including Buckingham Palace has been jailed for five years.

Ronald Harper was deputy property manager responsible for maintaining the Queen's main London home, as well as St James's Palace, Clarence House and Windsor Castle, from 1994 until he was suspended in 2012.

The 64-year-old, from Sudbury, accepted payments or gifts from the directors of companies who were then given large contracts for maintenance of the historic buildings paid for by the then Civil List, now called the Sovereign Grant.

He was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to make corrupt payments after two trials at Southwark Crown Court in June and August.

The corrupt bribes were made "over a significant period of time" either to directly to Harper or via a member of his family, while some of the money was used to pay Harper's credit card bills, jurors were told.


Man from Northamptonshire released on bail over hacking allegations

A man has been released on bail over the alleged hacking of Pippa Middleton's iCloud account Credit: Submitted

A man from Northamptonshire arrested over the alleged hacking of Pippa Middleton's iCloud account has been released on bail.

It follows claims that three thousand of Pippa Middleton's private pictures had been illegally accessed.

A 35 year old man was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of hacking offences.

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Man arrested over Pippa Middleton iCloud 'hacking'

At least 3,000 photographs were stolen from Pippa Middleton's iCloud account. Credit: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire

Police investigating claims that Pippa Middleton's iCloud account was hacked have arrested a 35-year-old man in Northamptonshire, Scotland Yard said.

Pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge and her children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are reportedly among 3,000 images taken from Kate's sister.

Police said that the man had been taken into custody at a south London police station after being arrested on suspicion of a Computer Misuse Act offence.

The Sun and Daily Mail newspapers reported that an anonymous seller had offered to sell them the pictures via encrypted messaging service WhatsApp.

The images reportedly include some of the royal children as well as wedding dresses and parties.

The Sun said it had been approached by someone using a pseudonym and asking for £50,000 within 48 hours.


Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Luton

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Bute Mills in Luton Credit: PA Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be in Luton today, to continue to raise awareness on mental health.

The first of three visits will be at national charity Youthscape in Bute Mills, following a £3.2m renovation.

The Royal couple will then unveil a plaque at Keech Hospice to mark its 25-year anniversary and take a tour of the adult and child facilities.

Their visit in Luton will end at Hayward Tyler- an engineering company- where they will open a £20m centre of excellence for motor manufacture and present staff with the Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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