Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford man cleared of Facebook 'police grass' conspiracy

A man from Bedford has been cleared of taking part in a conspiracy to name a drug dealer as a police informant on Facebook.

Malik Blackburn, 26, was found not guilty of conspiring to commit an act of misconduct in a public office.

Records were doctored to name Domenico Masciopinto "a police informant since 2009", St Albans Crown Court heard.

Mr Blackburn had been accused of paying Jonpaul Pasqualone, a custody officer, up to £1,200 to change police records.

Prosecutor Amjad Malik QC said Masciopinto was shot on 16 January last year, four hours after the false accusation of being and informant and a doctored image appeared on the social network site.

Convicted dealer

Pasqualone, 27, will be sentenced later after admitting copying Masciopinto's records onto his mobile phone and downloading it to his computer.

He added the words "police informant since 2009", a picture and a false name and put it on Facebook but Mr Blackburn told the court he had nothing to do with the crime.

Mr Blackburn told the jury: "I don't know Dominco Masciopinto", but he admitted contacting Pasqualone to get steroids.

Mr Malik went on to tell the court Masciopinto was jailed on 2 March for 14 years, after a trial at Luton Crown Court, as the head of a gang found guilty of supplying heroin and cocaine.

In October last year, a case was dismissed against Mr Blackburn and his brother Aaron Romain, 24, on a charge of attempting to murder Masciopinto.

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