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  1. ITV Report

Cheshire sniper loses first stage of appeal against gun conviction

Danny Nightingale Photo: PA

A former SAS sniper has lost the first stage of a bid to appeal against his conviction for illegally possessing a gun and ammunition.

Sergeant Danny Nightingale, from Crewe in Cheshire, has had an application for permission to appeal rejected by a judge who considered the matter on the papers, the Judicial Office confirmed today.But it remains open for Nightingale to renew his application before a panel of three judges at the Court of Appeal in London.The 38-year-old special forces soldier was sentenced to two years of military detention, suspended for 12 months, by a military court in Bulford, Wiltshire, in July.He was found guilty of having a 9mm Glock pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition in the bedroom of his shared Army house.The pistol was found in Nightingale's wardrobe and ammunition was under his bed in a plastic box. He claimed he had no knowledge of them being in his bedroom.He had pleaded not guilty to possession of a prohibited firearm between November 26, 2007, and September 16, 2011, and also denied possession of the ammunition on or about September 16, 2011.Nightingale was originally jailed for 18 months in November last year but had his sentence cut and then his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal and a fresh trial was ordered.Appeal judges concluded at an earlier hearing that his original sentence was too harsh, cutting the term to 12 months suspended, and ordering his release.The soldier, who served in the former Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan in an 18-year career, has received a medical discharge which will commence on February 14. Until then he remains in the Army.