Navy officer jailed for secrets ‘sale’

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A Royal Navy petty officer has been jailed for eight years for trying to pass Britain’s nuclear submarine secrets to men he believed to be Russian spies.

Sentencing him at the Old Bailey yesterday, Mr Justice Saunders said Edward Devenney, 30, had been “prepared to betray his country and his colleagues”.

Devenney, from Northern Ireland, admitted breaching the Official Secrets Act by gathering classified information and misconduct by meeting the supposed spies, actually MI5 intelligence officers.

In questioning after his arrest, he had said he was disenchanted with his work and had wanted to hurt the Royal Navy, the court heard.

Devenney had suffered as the result of a rape allegation of which he was later cleared.

But by January this year, when he met the men in London, Devenney was a “rational man”, the court heard.

Mari Reid of the Crown Prosecution Service said outside court: “This was a classic story of betrayal. Edward Devenney pursued a course of conduct likely to put his country at risk.”