Fake Sheikh Mazher Mahmood Mazher Mahmood, known as undercover reporter the Fake Sheikh has been jailed for 15 months for tampering with evidence in the collapsed Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial.
The self-styled “king of the sting” met N-Dubz and ‘X Factor’ star Contostavlos in a London hotel, posing as a film producer who wanted the singer to star in a Hollywood film.
Contostavlos was accused of arranging for Mahmood to be sold £800 of cocaine by one of her contacts.
The journalist’s driver Alan Smith, 67, was also found guilty of the same charge following a trial at the Old Bailey.
The pair were accused of conspiring to suppress evidence in Contostavlos’ trial, which was later thrown out of court.
As Smith, of Dereham, Norfolk, drove the former X Factor judge home to Hertfordshire, she allegedly spoke about a family member who had a drugs problem, the Press Association reported.
When the undercover reporter was interviewed by police more than a year later, Smith recalled the conversation.
But a day later, after speaking to Mahmood and emailing his draft statement, the singer’s anti-drugs comments were removed from it, the court heard.
At a pre-trial hearing, Mahmood denied being an “agent provocateur” or that he discussed the drugs conversation with Smith.
After her case collapsed in July 2014, Miss Constavlos claimed to reporters she had been the victim of “a horrific and disgusting entrapment’’.
Mahmood claims to have helped put more than 100 people behind bars. The prosecution asked for costs to be awarded totalling £37,929. Smith awaits sentencing.