UK armed forces member charged under Official Secrets Act

Thomas Newsome, 36, appeared in court on Saturday

Thomas Newsome appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court . Bloomberg
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A serving member of the UK armed forces has appeared in court, to face charges of revealing state secrets, after an investigation by London Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command.

Thomas Newsome, 36, was charged on Friday with breaching Sections 2 and 8 of the Official Secrets Act , the Metropolitan Police said.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday morning.

Mr Newsome was stationed overseas until April 17, when he is alleged to have made "a damaging disclosure of information relating to defence, which was in his possession by virtue of his position".

"Highly sensitive military information"

Mr Newsome was arrested on Tuesday and detained under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, the Metropolitan Police said.

He confirmed his name and date of birth to the court, but Mr Newsome's address, which defendants normally state, was withheld on national security grounds, as were the names of his lawyers.

Prosecutors said the document, which Mr Newsome is alleged to have had digital and hard copies of, contained "highly sensitive military information".

They said, if it were leaked, it would pose a "real and immediate threat to the lives of British citizens outside the UK" and "facilitate the targeting of personnel".

Mr Newsome is also accused of possessing separate secret information on a USB stick.

District Judge Michael Snow rejected an application for bail and said Mr Newsome would appear again at Westminster Magistrates' Court on April 28.

Updated: April 22, 2023, 4:48 PM