UK & World News
Submariner Admits Official Secrets Act Breach
A former Royal Navy submariner has admitted collecting secret coding programmes that could be useful to an enemy of the UK.
Petty officer Edward Devenney, from Northern Ireland, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to gathering details of encryption programmes in breach of the Official Secrets Act.
The 30-year-old also admitted a charge of misconduct in a public office in relation to a meeting with two people he thought were from the Russian secret service.
He said he had discussed information relating to the movement of nuclear submarines with the pair.
They turned out to be British agents who carried out a sting operation in January of this year.
The Official Secrets Act charge was collecting information for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the state between November 18 last year and March 7 this year.
Devenney gathered details of "crypto material" - programmes used to encrypt secret information - which could be useful to an enemy.
He denied a second count of communicating information to another person and this will not be pursued by prosecutors.
The Ministry of Defence has said no classified information was ever passed on to the Russians or any other countries.
It has described Devenney as somewhat of a Walter Mitty character - referring to the fantasist character in James Thurber's book The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
The judge, who said it was a highly unusual case, adjourned sentencing until December 12.
Some of that hearing will be held in private as the information relates to current British naval operations.
Devenney has been remanded in custody.