Soldier, 25, thrown out of Army jailed four years for leaking secrets

Soldier, 25, thrown out of the Army is jailed for four years for leaking sensitive military secrets about camp security

  • Matthew Conroy, 25, from Shepherd’s Bush, west London, jailed four years
  • Former soldier sent confidential Army documents to a number of organisations
  • He was convicted on six counts of sharing information useful for ‘terrorist intent’ 
  • Police found pornographic videos of bestiality, featuring chicken and orangutan

A soldier has been jailed for four years for terrorism offences after leaking sensitive military information to international organisations, months after being fired from the role.

Matthew Conroy, 25, from Shepherd’s Bush, west London, was convicted of emailing six confidential Army documents that could be used for ‘terrorist intent’ to a number of national and international organisations.  

Conroy had begun regular British Army training with Adjutant General’s Corps attached to the Royal Lancers Regiment in January 2018 – having enlisted in the British Army Reserves a year before, Kingston Crown Court heard.

However due to poor performance and having been immediately flagged as a ‘source of concern’ the recruit was deemed ‘temperamentally unsuitable’ and let go on February 28 of this year, Sky News reports.

Matthew Conroy, 25, from Shepherd’s Bush, west London, convicted of sharing six confidential Army documents that could be used for ‘terrorist intent’

Two months later on May 1 2020 Conroy sent emails containing military documents which revealed personal details of personnel, operational orders, and information on organisational structures.  

The court heard how Conroy had continued to have access to his military emails and military intranet (MODNET) for a period after leaving the Army due to a delay in his account being closed.

Police arrested Conroy at the Shepherd’s Bush home he shared with his mother and brother on May 4, inside they found a printed copy of the Official Secrets Act and evidence confirming that Conroy had sent the email from an account he had set up on the same day. 

When examining his digital devices, officers also found two extreme pornographic videos of bestiality, one featuring a chicken and the other an orangutan. 

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said today: ‘An investigation by the Counter Terrorism Command, working closely with colleagues from the Ministry of Defence, found that Conroy sent an email on May 1 2020 containing sensitive military information.

Royal Lancers in Finland Exercise Arrow, 2019 (stock photo)

‘The investigation found that prior to his discharge from the British Army earlier in the year – in February – Conroy had acquired some of the information sent in the May email.

‘Conroy was arrested on May 4. Digital forensic analysis of his computers and digital devices seized from his address identified copies of the documents contained within the emails and also found evidence confirming that Conroy had been the one who sent the email. When examining his digital devices, officers also found extreme pornographic images.

‘After further enquiries, Conroy was charged and subsequently convicted and sentenced.’  

A psychiatrist said they had found Conroy to have borderline personality disorder and narcissistic tendencies. 

The Crown Court, Kingston-upon-Thames, London, where Conroy was jailed three years and an extended year on licence

Staff Sergeant Christopher Hill, of the Royal Lancers Regiment, told the court how he had raised concerns with senior officers in July 2019 when Conroy had said he ‘wouldn’t have to worry about money’ as he had camp security details to sell, Sky News reports. 

Conroy pleaded guilty to six charges of collecting and publishing military information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Judge Peter Lodder QC said that Conroy had revealed his motive as ‘frustration with the army’ in a letter written to the judge. He added: ‘It is clear that you were wholly unsuitable for the Army.’

Sentencing Conroy to three years in jail and an extended year on licence, Judge Lodder said: ‘Recently you offered an explanation to the effect that it was out of frustration with the Army, an explanation which you re-iterated in your letter to me.

‘Whatever your motive, it is clear to me that you had planned these actions for some time, you were fully aware of the seriousness of your actions and of the inevitable security risks that followed from those actions.’   

Conroy also received a four month jail sentence to run concurrently for the offence of possessing extreme pornographic videos, one of which breached the Criminal Justice Act 2008.    

Commander Richard Smith, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command said: ‘There is no doubt that the information Conroy copied and then emailed out had the potential to put the safety and security of military personnel at increased risk. 

‘Today’s sentence should make it absolutely clear that there are very serious consequences for anyone who chooses to do this sort of thing.

‘Police and the military take this extremely seriously and we will seek to identify, arrest and prosecute anyone responsible for putting others’ lives at risk through the illegal sharing of sensitive information that could then be used by those with hostile or terrorist intent.’  

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