Eight years for submariner who took secret photos in ‘disgusting’ betrayal

Threat: Edward Devanney took photographs on board HMS Vigilant

A Royal Navy petty officer was jailed for eight years today after taking mobile phone pictures in the top-secret communications room of a nuclear submarine and planning to pass information to the Russians.

Edward Devanney secretly photographed canisters holding code systems used throughout Britain’s armed forces, which are normally locked in a safe.

Such a security breach could have jeopardised any chance of British submarines operating undetected by the enemy, the Old Bailey heard. Navy chiefs still do not know how he was able to open the safe and take the photos undetected.

Mr Justice Saunders told him: “You were prepared to betray your country and your colleagues. It needs to be understood by those who may be tempted to pass on secrets that long sentences will follow even unsuccessful attempts.”

Devanney rang the Russian embassy 11 times and later made contact with two men called Dimitri and Vladimir he believed to be enemy agents. He told them he was disillusioned with the Navy saying: “I’m just a bit p***** off with them. I know it’s petty but I just want to hurt them.”

Paul Cheston

12 December 2012

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