A 64-year-old man has appeared in court charged with assisting Russia’s foreign intelligence service.

Howard Michael Phillips, of Harlow in Essex, was charged with an offence contrary to section three of the National Security Act.

Phillips, wearing a grey tracksuit, spoke via video link at the Old Bailey on Friday to confirm his address and date of birth.

He will next appear at the same court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on October 25.

A trial date was set for February 10 of next year.

He will remain in custody until his next appearance in court.