Duncan LarcombeProsecuting Counsel told the jury at the Sun Four Trial today that a Sun journalist paid an army officer for information on the Royal Princes.

Opening the case at the Old Bailey the prosecution at the trial of four Sun journalists, Army officer John Hardy and his wife Claire alleged that the paper’s Royal editor, Duncan Larcombe, sought to arrange 34 payments to the Sandhurst based soldier for information about Prince Harry and Prince William during their officer training. Some of these payments, the Crown alleges, were authorised by Larcomber’s fellow defendant the Sun’s then Deputy Editor Geoff Webster.

Barrister Michael Parroy QC told the court that: “It is the prosecution case that paying a serving officer for confidential material is a naked act of corruption and Geoffrey Webster knew precisely that. Yet he was prepared to sanction it in the pursuit of an amusing and salacious story.” The prosecutor also told the court that Hardy also assisted The Sun to obtain a picture of Prince William in a bikini dressed as a “Bond girl” at a fancy dress party though.

Hardy, who retired from the army in 2012, is on trial alongside his wife Claire who is alleged to have received payments from The Sun into her bank account in full knowledge that they were for confidential information.

The prosecution also say that the former officer was paid £250 to go to a strip club to “spy” on other Sandhurst staff which led to an article in the newspaper entitled: “Stripocrisy of Harry Bosses”.

All of the defendants deny all of the charges, the trial continues.