Spy probe engineer ‘has links to China’
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.
Former RollsRoyce engineer Bryn Jones, 73, and the RAF’s new F-35B stealth fighter