Royal Navy submariner admits Official Secrets Act breach

Edward Devenney
Image caption Devenney has been remanded in custody until he is sentenced in December

A Royal Navy submariner has admitted breaching the Official Secrets Act by collecting classified coding programmes that could be useful to UK enemies.

Edward Devenney, 30, originally from County Tyrone, admitted gathering details of "crypto material" - programmes used to encrypt secret data.

The petty officer also admitted a charge of misconduct in a public office after he met two people he thought were Russian spies to discuss UK operations.

He was arrested in Plymouth in March.

Devenney was charged under the Official Secrets Act for collecting information for a purpose "prejudicial to the safety or interests of the state" between 18 November 2011 and 7 March 2012.

He contacted a foreign embassy in an attempt to pass information to Russia, on the operation of HMS Trafalgar and two other nuclear submarines.

Devenney denied a second charge under the act of communicating information to another person. This will not be pursued by prosecutors as no secret information was passed on.

He admitted arranging to meet the people he thought were Russian secret agents - but in fact his meeting was with two British secret service agents.

Devenney will be sentenced on 12 December at the Old Bailey, when parts of the hearing will be held in secret.

The judge, Mr Justice Saunders, told Devenney he would remain in custody until his sentencing.