'Hoxton spy' Houghton sentenced
PUBLISHED: 13:44 03 September 2010 | UPDATED: 14:34 03 September 2010
THE 'HOXTON spy', who was caught in a sting operation by MI6 agents after he tried to flog top-secret information to the Dutch intelligence service, has been jailed for 12 months.
"The effect on the SIS credibility and the morale of its officers of this kind of act of betrayal is a serious matter."
THE ‘HOXTON spy’, who was caught in a sting operation by MI6 agents after he tried to flog top-secret information to the Dutch intelligence service, was jailed for 12 months today, but walked free having already served six months behind bars.
Daniel Houghton, 25, from Allerton House on the Provost estate, pleaded guilty to two offences under the Official Secrets Act at the Old Bailey, but denied a charge of stealing materials, a plea which was accepted by the prosecution.
Houghton was arrested in March after attempting to sell MI6 secrets, including the home and mobile phone numbers of 300 staff, to Dutch intelligence service the AIVD for almost £1 million.
Mr Justice Bean told Houghton: “If this material had found its way into the hands of a hostile power, it could have done enormous damage and put lives at risk.
“The effect on the SIS credibility and the morale of its officers of this kind of act of betrayal is a serious matter.
“You are not a calculating idealogue. If you had been intent on causing harm to this country’s interests, you would have chosen a different recipient from the Netherlands.
“This was an unsophisticated offence. You made no attempt to conceal your identity.”
Sentencing, he added: “I consider that on each of the two counts they could be concurrent sentences of 12 months imprisonment.
“As you have served 184 days in custody, this will I understand enable you to be released as soon as the necessary formalities have been completed.”