WE first met aboard ship where I had a brief Acquaintance with him, while being his instructor. David was a clever dick; knew every thing - cocky little sod, after I threatened him with a week in the slammer for insolence he quietened down,he was disliked by his classmates and myself in particular.
I having left the Royal Navy in 1966, about five years after flying into Hong Kong with Lt/Cdr R,T. a former antagonist in the Portland spy saga, then more than a decade had passed since the initial meeting with D B, before I did a cold call at David Binghams residence, seeing me he slammed the door on me. In another attempt to call a little later my senior management gave me an item for display to Mrs Bingham who apparently was a major spendthrift and she agreed to the arrangement. Unfortunately I was set up to do the delivery which found his nibs answering the door bell again. I was halfway in saying "This is yours nothing to pay" when D B said, "Stuff it up your ass you effing peasant". To my knowledge the item was never delivered or collected. However, at the time I did notice he was showing a degree of nervousness after I mentioned his present problem will soon see you doing time in the slammer. the incident was recorded and I personally mentioned the matter to a retired officer friend and of course my senior management, the time date was approx late 1970.
I later received official info from management not to go near or contact D B. there was a definite ring about it being a bit dodgy.
Early in 1971, I was bombarded with advice suggesting Australia was the best thing for my family, later my family and I decided to migrate to Australia, and we arrived Aug 4 1971. It was early in 1972 when I received a letter and press cuttings from Mr F---h my ex boos in Portsmouth England, with ref to D B's arrest for espionage.
I sent a letter of thanks but did not comment.
It was in 70's when writing to my Bro in law's - son in law who was a screw at the prison in Bisley, while there I sent D B a congratulatory message while serving his 21 years for espionage.
After early release D B was resettled in the midlands with a change of identity but was unfortunately killed in a road accident a little later.
David Bingham, Naval Spy.
Sub-Lieutenant David Bingham served, as a weapons electronics officer, aboard HMS Rothesay, a modified Type 12 Anti-Air Frigate, F107 commisioned on 23rd April 1960. David Bingham was aged 31 and was married with four children. Maureen Bingham, his wife, was a comfort shopper, a so-called 'shopoholic'. In addition to that she was also addicted to gambling. Sub-Lt Bingham's salary was not sufficiently high to finance his wifes' shopping and betting expeditions and this lack of finance almost certainly motivated Maureen to knock on the door of the Russian Embassy during a trip to London and offer the services of her husband to the KGB.
Whilst at the embassy she met with Russian Consular Officials who invited her to return sometime later to a Tea-Party under the cover of researching a book on "housewives of the world."
It was later disclosed that her husband, Sub-Lt Bingham, was ignorant of the methods used by his wife to secure further funding for her indulgences fired by her peculiar personality traits.
Maureen Bingham had photographed pages from an exercise book used by her husband for notes and deliberately induced 'camera shake' to ensure that the photographic content of the resultant prints were illegible. She was well aware that the 'intelligence' that she was supplying to the Russians was of no use at all and boasted later that she was 'taking them for a ride'.
The debts mounted as Maureen Bingham pursued her self-indulgent and excessive shopping. This expenditure coupled with the gambling debts led to her selling the family car without the knowledge of the Hire Purchase company who had financed purchase. This excessive behaviour led to subsequent arranged meetings with the Russian Naval Attache, Lory Turifmovich resulting in the Binghams receiving GBP 2800 for photographs left in a dead letter box.
Maureen Bingham later stated that David had never wanted to pursue this course and had gone along with her activities because there was no other choice, fearing for the safety of their four children.
Sub-Lt Bingham was terrified of what the eventual outcome of these actions would be, especially aware of the confidence trick being performed on the Russians by his wife.
It was obvious to David Bingham that the Russians knew that the photos supplied by Maureen were of no use whatsoever, but being aware of his position, he would be of use to them in the future. This fact was seen during the resultant court hearing at Bingham's trial, for espionage, when the court was told that one document supplied by Bingham was 'almost beyond price'.
Eventually Bingham was called to a meeting with the Russian handlers. The meeting took place in some woods. David Bingham had taken his son, Karl, with him and during the meeting Bingham told the Russians that he "had had enough" and that he "didn't care, not having a life". At this point a Russian placed a gun to Bingham's head and asked "What about your children's lives?"
On his return, and wishing to protect his children, Bingham approached a senior Officer and informed him of the spying activities. Unfortunately with David Bingham being of good character the officer refused to believe what he was hearing and David Bingham was forced to go and tell the Police. Sub-Lt Bingham was immediately arrested and thence formerly charged.
In 1972 the story of his treachery was printed in the newspapers and was described as 'being beyond belief'. Bingham himself was descibed as "the most despicable traitor in the history of post-war espionage". The defence counsel called the case "a story of almost incredible folly" whilst the court saw that David Bingham's confession read like "a badly written spy-novel - a lurid melodrama of secret assignations, signals that involved leaving empty packets of cigarettes in rural telephone boxes and posting church notices to addresses in Kensington".
At the time of the trial the Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath had authorised the expulsion of 105 Soviet diplomats and officials from Great Britain for espionage.
At Winchester Crown Court, David Bingham confessed to photographing naval documents and as a result was sentenced to imprisonment, a total of 126 years on 12 counts, to run concurrently, a sentence of 21 years.
After her husband's trial Maureen Bingham returned to the Russian embassy, with the Press, and declared that "it was all my fault" and that "the Russians were always very concerned about myself and our four children. They treated us better than the Royal Navy ever did".
Maureen Bingham was subsequently arrested and charged with offences under the Official Secrets Act. She was psychologically examined and the subsequent report stated that she was a pathological liar.
Maureen Bingham was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
During her trial the judge described her as "having opened the door" to her husband's spying activities. He went on to state that she was "a lady of almost disastrous loquacity".
With both parents serving gaol sentences the children were placed in care, moved between children's homes and foster parents for the rest of their childhood. David Bingham had secured his children's security at least. After serving only seven years of the original twenty one year sentence David Bingham was released from gaol.
He quietly settled down and rebuilt his life, changing his name to Brough and remarrying. Bingham (or Brough) ran a small hotel in Bournemouth, Sussex and also became the vice-president of the local Conservative Club. The members were probably unaware that he had previously spied for the Russians. He also opened an alternative healing centre in Stratford offering therapies at GBP 20 a session.
In February 1997 Bingham/Brough lost control of the car that he was driving, in Stratford-upon-Avon, crashing into a tree. Bingham/Brough died as a result of the accident, along with his dog, who was also present in the car. The crash occurred during severe gales which were sweeping the country. He was 56.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
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