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Friday, 25 August, 2000, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Tammy trickster facing jail
Tammy Wynette
Country legend Wynette died in 1998
A former hospital worker who sold confidential medical files on the late Tammy Wynette to the press is facing a lengthy jail sentence.

William A Cox pleaded to a charge of wire fraud after accessing the documents on the hospital's computer.

A court in Pittsburgh heard he then sold them on to supermarket tabloid magazines, netting an estimated $1,760 (1,190).

Country singing legend Wynette died of heart failure aged 55 in April 1998. She was found at her home in Nashville, Tennesse.

The performer, who had been plagued by a number of medical problems over the years, checked in to the UPMC Presbyterian hospital under an assumed name in 1994 and 1995.

Password

Assistant US Attorney Paul Hall said Cox accessed her files sometime between September 1994 and October 1995, using the password of a former physician.

The case was adjourned for sentence, with Cox facing up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 (170,000).

Wynette, dubbed "The First Lady of Country Music", is best known for the anthems Stand By Your Man, which topped the UK charts in 1975, and D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

Born Virginia Wynette Pugh on a cotton farm in Itawanba County, Mississippi on 5 May 1942, she worked as a beautician in Alabama before becoming one of the best-known female voices in country music.

Married five times, with three daughters, she made a comeback in 1991 singing on the KLF's Justified And Ancient.

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