Man accused of leaking state secrets carried knives in Southport pubs

A security contractor accused of leaking state missile secrets carried a knife into two Southport pubs a court has heard.

Defence contractor Simon Finch of Swansea, who claimed he was “Southport born and bred”, denies breaching the Official Secrets Act at the Old Bailey.

The court has heard that Mr Finch, a former local CAMRA member, sent classified intelligence to charities and law firms, as a response to being “failed by the UK state” between 2013 and 2016.

Mr Finch was allegedly subjected to two homophobic attacks weeks apart in Merseyside and the subsequent failure of police to investigate the attacks or class them as hate crimes because he did not identify as gay led Mr Finch to conduct the leaks.

Jurors heard that following these attacks, Mr Finch resorted to carrying weapons in public.

Prosecuting, Mark Haywood QC read from unencrypted email files sent by Mr Finch to a work counsellor: “her response was to laugh at me, saying if I’m going out for the night then don’t take those silly, silly nunchucks. I replied: ‘Would you be able to take it more seriously if I was carrying a knife?'”

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In 2016 Mr Finch was handed a suspended sentence after admitting carrying a machete and a hammer out in public.

In response to what he called “inhumane and degrading” treatment at Copy Lane Police Station in Bootle, Mr Finch wrote to charities, trade unions, newspapers and Southport MP Damien Moore in attempt to get redress.

Defending Stuart Trimmer QC told the court this apparent mistreatment “quite literally ruined his life”, adding: “Some might say he became obsessed by the issue, it seems to have consumed his thinking.”

Mr Finch denies disclosing defence information and withholding access to electronic devices from authorities. The trial continues.

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