Spy probe en­gi­neer ‘has links to China’

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Paul Jeeves

THE daugh­ter of a for­mer Rolls-Royce air­craft en­gi­neer at the cen­tre of a spy­ing probe yes­ter­day re­vealed he en­ter­tained Chi­nese vis­i­tors at his home and vis­ited China once or twice a year.

Bryn Jones, 73, was ar­rested af­ter MI5 re­port­edly re­ceived in­tel­li­gence that clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion about the RAF’s £100mil­lion new su­per jet may have been passed to Beijing.

The for­mer chief com­bus­tion tech­nol­o­gist was keep­ing quiet yes­ter­day af­ter he was ques­tioned and re­leased by Scot­land Yard de­tec­tives in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­leged plot.

Jones, who de­scribes him­self as a vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor at the Aero­nau­ti­cal Uni­ver­sity of Xian in China, reg­u­larly re­ceived Chi­nese vis­i­tors to his Der­byshire home, his adopted daugh­ter re­vealed.

Jean Jones, a 47-year-old care home as­sis­tant, said: “I just can’t be­lieve for one minute he would do this.”

She added: “He’s been go­ing to China for a few years now. He would go to China at least once, maybe twice a year. My mother would go with him some­times but not all the time. They some­times have peo­ple from over in China come around to their house.”

Ms Jones said the fam­ily were “dev­as­tated” over the al­le­ga­tions and she has been un­able to con­tact her mother, Dorothy, since her fa­ther’s ar­rest on Tuesday af­ter­noon.

“He would never do some­thing like what he’s been ac­cused of. No, its not like him,” she in­sisted.

“My fa­ther is a re­li­gious per­son, he would go to church quite often. He never re­ally dis­cussed his po­lit­i­cal views around me.” Counter-ter­ror po­lice swooped in what was de­scribed as an “ul­tra-dis­creet” op­er­a­tion on Tuesday.

Jones, a fa­ther of five, was ques­tioned by Yard de­tec­tives at an East Mid­lands po­lice sta­tion be­fore be­ing re­leased.

Yes­ter­day he de­clined to com­ment as a search of a prop­erty in the West Mid­lands con­tin­ued.

Neigh­bour John O’Melia said: “He was a nice chap. He mainly spoke of Ja­panese cus­tomers rather than Chi­nese but that must have been 10 years ago.”

It is un­der­stood Jones was held on sus­pi­cion of breach­ing the Of­fi­cial Se­crets Act. Crimes re­lat­ing to na­tional se­cu­rity can carry a max­i­mum sen­tence of 14 years.

The F-35B stealth fighter only ar­rived in the UK last week. With a top speed of 1,200mph and a 300-mile range, it can de­flect en­emy radar to fly al­most un­no­ticed. Built in the US by Lock­heed Martin, its weapons in­clude air-to-air mis­siles and laser bombs.

The Gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted to spend £9.1bil­lion on 48 of the air­craft by 2025. But there are now con­cerns that the air­craft’s se­crets are al­ready in the hands of for­eign pow­ers.

Jones worked for Rolls-Royce for 28 years be­fore leav­ing in around 2003 to launch his own con­sul­tancy firm.

Pic­ture: PETER BYRNE/PA

For­mer Roll­sRoyce en­gi­neer Bryn Jones, 73, and the RAF’s new F-35B stealth fighter

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