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Friday, 29 November, 2002, 16:26 GMT
Plane engineer admits spying
BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a leading defence equipment maker
An aircraft engineer who tried to sell defence secrets to the Russians has pleaded guilty to spying charges.

Ian Parr, 45, of Tylney Avenue, Rochford, Essex, was remanded in custody at the Old Bailey for reports.

On Friday, Parr pleaded guilty to two charges under the Official Secrets Act, and seven under the Theft Act.

He is due to be sentenced on 20 January.

Parr admitted a charge of obtaining secret information from British Aerospace Ltd and another charge of communicating it contrary to the Official Secrets Act.

Ian Parr
Parr worked for BAE Systems Avionics

The charges related to the Storm Shadow project to develop stealth cruise missiles.

The theft charges relate to the taking of information relating to Storm Shadow and to six other sensitive projects.

These included developing alternative navigation for the F16 plane.

The papers also held details of thermal imaging and radio jamming systems.

'State interests'

Parr worked as a test co-ordinator at BAE Systems Avionics, Basildon.

The former soldier and father-of-two was accused of charges under the Official Secrets Act of obtaining information "prejudicial to the safety or interests of the state".

Parr was arrested in Southend on 22 March in a joint operation involving police and the security services.

He was trapped after handing over documents in a plastic bag to a man in a pub whom he thought was a Russian agent but was in fact a British spy.

Parr had arranged to sell the material for a total of 130,000.

'Good character'

Detective Superintendent Gareth Wilson said: "Due to Mr Parr's previous good character, he had been given security clearance to access this data.

"As a former soldier he was more than aware of the potential consequences of his actions.

"The success of this operation can only be measured on the fact that his attempts to pass the information were thwarted and none of the information was communicated to those whome he intended to sell it to."


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15 Aug 02 | England
03 Apr 02 | England
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