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No 10 security breached as couple slip into Downing Street unnoticed




No 10 security breached as couple slip into Downing Street unnoticed
No 10 security breached as couple slip into Downing Street unnoticed



http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23400051-details/No+10+security+breached+as+couple+slip+into+Downing+Street+unnoticed/article.do 

11.06.07
 
A drug addict and his girlfriend breached heavy security to get within 
yards of Tony Blair's personal office in Downing Street, it has emerged.

The couple were also able to walk near to the nerve centre of 
anti-terrorism operations.

Wearing a tracksuit and T-shirt, Obadiah Marius, 34, and his girlfriend 
Victoria Smith, 19, walked in off the street into the Cabinet Office, 
went through at least two doors and strolled freely around.

They were arrested only when they reached the secret corridor which 
joins the building to No 10. It leads directly to the Cabinet room and 
Mr Blair's "den".

The Prime Minister was in London at the time of the alert last Tuesday 
but it is not known whether he was at his desk.

A security guard was facing the sack last night as a full-scale 
investigation continued.

A Whitehall source said: "If they had been terrorists, it doesn't bear 
thinking about."

The pair entered the Cabinet Office on Whitehall through an open door as 
a member of staff was leaving.

The security guard buzzed them through an internal door.

Once inside, they got near to the Cobra emergency room where the Prime 
Minister, senior Ministers and police chiefs meet in the event of a 
terror attack or other critical threat. The windowless room is protected 
by an electronic security system.

The couple's route bypassed the massive security gates installed in the 
1980s to counter IRA attacks. When they were finally stopped they said 
they were looking for work.

Last night at his home in Stratford, East London, Mr Marius said: "There 
was no way that I should have got where I got, it was ridiculous."

Miss Smith said: "How can anyone just walk in off the street? We didn't 
even know where we were until we got arrested."

Mr Marius denied "trespassing on a protected site" at Westminster 
Magistrates' Court hearing on Thursday.

His lawyer said it was a genuine mistake and neither had known they were 
trespassing.

The offence is usually dealt with in a civil court. However, under the 
2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, Downing Street and the 
Cabinet Office at 70 Whitehall have this month become "protected sites" 
where trespassers can be prosecuted under criminal law.

A number of royal, government and military premises have similar status. 
The act was introduced after "comedy terrorist" Aaron Barschak 
gatecrashed Prince William's 21st birthday.

Marius was released on bail but has been ordered to attend a drug 
dependency clinic and faces a trial in August.

Smith has been charged under the same act and is due to appear in court 
later this month.

A spokesman for Downing Street said: "We are satisfied with our security 
arrangements."

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "It is a matter for the police to 
investigate."


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