Strabane Navy Submariner charged with gathering secret information

A Royal Navy submariner is due to appear in court accused of passing secret coding programmes to an enemy of the UK.

30-year-old Edward Devenney,  from Strabane, is charged with collecting information about encryption computer programmes that might be useful to an enemy, and communicating those details to another person.

He contacted a foreign embassy to try to pass to Russia “crypto material” - programmes used to encrypt secret data - and information linked to the operation of HMS Trafalgar and two nuclear submarines. But the two people he eventually met with were from British secret services.

Devenney, who was arrested in Plymouth in March, appeared at the Old Bailey and admitted collecting information for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the British state between November 18 last year and March 7 this year.

He gathered details of programmes used to encrypt secret information which could be useful to an enemy.

Devenney denied a second charge of communicating information to another person and this will not be pursued by prosecutors.

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