Sniper guilty of gun charge

An SAS sniper was today convicted of possessing a pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition.

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Danny Nightingale to be sentenced next week

Sergeant Danny Nightingale from Crewe at his trial Credit: PA

Former SAS sniper Danny Nightingale will be sentenced on Thursday 25th July 2013. He was convicted of illegally possessing a gun and ammunition. He was ordered to serve 18 months after pleading guilty in November 2012. This was overturned on appeal, but he was convicted for a second time last week.


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Sgt Nightingale says he still struggles with brain injury

Sergeant Danny Nightingale has said that he is still struggling with a brain injury he received during an endurance marathon in 2009.

He said "there are now things in my head that are not facts" and added that he sometimes had difficulty recognising his own family members.

Sergeant Danny Nightingale and wife Sally arriving at his court martial today Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

His wife Sally added: "He never brought a weapon into the country ... He still confabulates and still struggles with his brain injury on a day-to-day basis".

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Court martial rested on soldier's conflicting accounts

Much of Sgt Danny Nightingale's court martial rested on conflicting accounts of how the gun and ammunition came to be in a home he was staying in.

  • The prosecution accuse him of changing his story. He allegedly told police that the gun had been a "trophy" given to him in Iraq and that he had accumulated the ammunition from training sessions in the UK. Nightingale later told the court martial that someone else had put them there.
  • The defence allege that Sgt Nightingale's memory was affected by a brain injury and that his confession to police was false because he was "confabulating" (filling in gaps in his memory based on what other people had told him). He said he had "no recollection of receiving the gun".
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Timeline of Sergeant Danny Nightingale's conviction

  • 2007: Returns to UK from tour of duty in Iraq.
  • October 2009: Suffers brain injury during an endurance marathon in Brazil.
  • September 2011: Civilian police discover the pistol and ammunition in Nightingale's rented home after a tip-off. He allegedly tells police that the gun was a "trophy" from Iraq, although he later contests this account.
  • November 2012: Pleads guilty to gun offences and is ordered to serve 18 month in military detention. The Court of Appeal later reduces and suspends his sentence.
  • March 2013: Original conviction overturned by Court of Appeal
  • July 2013: Convicted of the original offences by a fresh court martial
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Sergeant Danny Nightingale sentencing adjourned

The sentencing of former SAS sniper Danny Nightingale was adjourned today pending a Court of Appeal judgment on the sentencing powers of the court.

Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett said he would release Sergeant Nightingale on bail while a decision was made.

Sergeant Nightingale was previously sentenced to 18 months' military detention at an earlier trial. This was reduced to 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for a year, on appeal.


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