Submariner jailed for trying to sell secrets to Russia who tried to spy for Russians is jailed

A Royal Navy submariner who betrayed his country and colleagues by trying to pass secrets to men he believed were Russian spies has been jailed for eight years.

The Old Bailey heard how Petty Officer Edward Devenney, 30, pictured, called the Russian Embassy after a 12-hour drinking binge because he was angry at not being promoted.

He then met two agents calling themselves Dimitri and Vladimir at the British Museum, unaware that they were in fact working for MI5, and tried to pass on secret encryption codes and details on the movements of nuclear submarines.

Sentencing him yesterday Mr Justice Saunders said: "I am satisfied that in the wrong hands [the information] 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."

Outside court, Devenney's solicitor Richard Cannon read a statement from him: "I am deeply sorry for the hurt and shame that I have brought on my family and loved ones. I deeply regret my actions and the effect they have had on the service and colleagues." The court was told that the communications engineer's behaviour collapsed after he faced a rape allegation, of which he was later cleared. He began drinking heavily and suffered bouts of depression.

The court heard how Devenney had managed to get into a locked safe on board HMS Vigilant and take three photographs of part of a secret code for encrypted information.