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Plymouth sailor jailed for spying

A Plymouth-based 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.

Edward Devenney was told he had betrayed his country and his colleagues, though the "Russians" were in fact from MI5.

But Mr Justice Saunders, sentencing him at the Old Bailey, said Devenney knew what he was doing when he met the two men in January.

"He did supply details of movements and operations carried out and to be carried out by nuclear submarines.

I am satisfied that in the wrong hands it was capable of affecting the operational effectiveness of nuclear submarines. This is a very serious case. The defendant was prepared to betray his country and his colleagues."

– Mr Justice Saunders, Judge

"I am deeply sorry for the hurt and shame that I have brought on my family and loved ones.

Prior to these events I gave the Royal Navy 11 and a half years of service and I deeply regret my actions and the effect they have had on the Submarine Service and colleagues."

– Edward Devenney, Spy

"This was a classic story of betrayal. Edward Devenney was employed by the Royal Navy to protect this country from potential threats to our security. Instead, he pursued a course of conduct likely to put his country at risk."

– Mari Reid, CPS Counter-Terrorism Division

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