Civil Servant Fined Over Secrets Act Breach

A senior civil servant has been fined after pleading guilty to breaching the Official Secrets Act.

Richard Jackson, 37, a top director working at the Cabinet Office, was fined £2,500 after he admitted negligence by losing the files on a train from Waterloo to Surrey on his way to work on June 10.

City of Westminster Magistrates Court heard the documents "had the potential to damage national security and UK international relations".

The court heard one of the documents was market 'top secret' while the other was mid-level security.

A member of the public discovered the documents and handed them over to a journalist, who then turned them in to police.

Mr Jackson - who had taken the files home inadvertently - was said to have been "physically sick" when he discovered their loss.

Neil Saunders, defending, told the court his client accepted his mistake, but "there was never any risk to any lives whatsoever".

He added: "He was under extreme pressure at this time and it may well be partly because of his own role, the team he was leading and the work he was being asked to conduct that he has made this gross error of judgment."

Mr Saunders added that his client had a host of glowing references, highlighting he was "someone who would never deliberately let anyone down".

Prosecutor Deborah Walsh said: "This delay in reporting delayed any action to recover the files."

She continued: "There's ample evidence that Mr Jackson failed to take such care to prevent the unauthorised disclosure of the documents as somebody in his position may reasonably be expected to take."


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