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Last Updated:  Friday, 4 April, 2003, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Spy engineer jailed for 10 years
A defence worker from Essex who spied for the Russians was told he had betrayed his country as he was jailed for 10 years.

Ian Parr, an aircraft engineer, worked for BAE Systems Avionics in Basildon.

The Recorder of London Judge Michael Hyam told Parr that the sentence had to reflect "public abhorrence" to acts which betrayed the safety and interests of the state.

Parr was jailed for eight years under the Official Secrets Act after the jury heard some of the material he stole could have compromised the safety of British troops in Iraq.

He was given a further two years to run consecutively for stealing details of seven sensitive defence projects.

In sentencing him, Judge Hyam said: "You knew perfectly well the nature of what you were doing.

I cannot accept that you were so naive that you did not know what you were doing was a risk to the nation's security
Judge Hyam

"I cannot accept that you were so naive that you did not know what you were doing was a risk to the nation's security."

Parr, 45, of Tylney Avenue, Rochford, was arrested last year in a Southend pub after a joint operation by MI5 and the police.

The court was told that family man Parr, of Rochford, Essex, acted after being warned he could be made redundant.

Stealth missiles

He pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey in November to two charges under the Official Secrets Act, and seven under the Theft Act.

He obtained secret information from British Aerospace Ltd and passed it on, contrary to the Official Secrets Act.

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

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

The former soldier and father-of-two 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.

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29 Nov 02  |  England
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03 Apr 02  |  England

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