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Ex-SAS sniper to seek advice on appealing conviction

The wife of former SAS sniper Danny Nightingale said the family would now take advice from counsel on whether to appeal his conviction for the possession of a pistol and ammunition.

Speaking outside court, Sally Nightingale said: "We're obviously very disappointed with the sentencing, yet we are pleased that Danny will be coming home with us tonight."

Nightingale story over gun 'lacked credibility'

Judge advocate Jeff Blackett told Danny Nightingale, who wore his SAS uniform in the courtroom, that his stories about how the gun came to be in his room "lacked credibility".

But he said there were "exceptional circumstances" that allowed the court to suspend the sentence "because of your exceptional character".

The judge also said that "criticism of the prosecution and the Army is unmerited and totally without foundation".

We understand how difficult these proceedings have been for you and your family. However, you have brought much of that anguish upon yourself and your public assertions that you are scapegoat or the victim of some wider political agenda is absolute nonsense.

You are simply someone against whom there was a strong prima facie case of serious wrongdoing and, given the dangers to society caused by illegal firearms and their misuse, it was in the public interest to prosecute you.

You have now had a fair trial before a civilian judge and an independent and impartial board.

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Background to SAS sniper Nightingale case

Sergeant Nightingale had originally pleaded guilty to the two charges last year and was sentenced to 18 months' military detention.

The father of two, from Crewe, Cheshire, appealed against that sentence and it was reduced to 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for a year.

He then fought to overturn his convictions and won a fresh court martial, which found him guilty after four hours of deliberations.

"I never regret fighting it, no. No, not for one second," Sgt Nightingale said after being released on bail.

SAS sniper Danny Nightingale facing jail

An SAS sniper who could be jailed after being convicted of possessing a pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition said he had no regrets in fighting the case.

SAS sniper, Sergeant Danny Nightingale and wife Sally.
SAS sniper, Sergeant Danny Nightingale and wife Sally. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Sergeant Danny Nightingale, 38, was found guilty of two charges of possessing a Glock 9mm and 338 rounds by a court martial board.

Sentencing was adjourned but Sgt Nightingale could now be sent to the Military Corrective Training Centre in Colchester, Essex.

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Report: SAS units under threat by new defence cuts

The SAS and other special forces units are under threat from a new round of Coalition defence cuts, reports The Telegraph.

The budget of the Ministry of Defence is to be cut. Credit: Press Assocation

The newspaper says senior commanders fear the quality of Britain’s world-class special forces could be undermined if defence spending is cut again in 2015.

The potential threat has been discussed in Whitehall as the Ministry of Defence tries to fight off Treasury demands for more budget cuts, it is reported.

In last year’s Autumn Statement, George Osborne announced plans to cut an extra £700?million from the defence budget by April 2015, on top of deep cuts announced in 2010.

SAS sniper returns to work after firearm charge overturned

Sergeant Danny Nightingale has returned to work today after being released from jail last week.

Talking to BBC Breakfast, his wife Sally said he had been put back on the payroll but would now have to undergo tests regarding a brain injury which affected his memory.

The SAS sniper was released after having his conviction illegally possessing a pistol and ammunition overturned by three appeal judges.

Released SAS sniper enjoying first free weekend at home

SAS sniper Danny Nightingale is enjoying his first weekend at home after being released from jail following his appeal victory.

The 37-year-old received a hero's return as he arrived back at his home in Crewe late last night, with family and friends gathered alongside a large "Welcome Back" banner.

Sergeant Nightingale told reporters he would spend the weekend with his family before renewing the fight to clear his name.

Sgt Nightingale was originally given 18 months' military detention for illegally possessing a pistol and ammunition, before three appeal judges cut the term to a suspended 12 months on Thursday, prompting his release.

Nightingale will fight to get conviction overturned

SAS Sergeant Danny Nightingale, who was freed after having his 18-month sentence for illegally possessing a gun reduced on appeal, has told ITV News that he held onto the weapon for so long because of "the hectic pace of life."

He said: "I'd just brought my best friend home in a coffin. It was an emotional period."

ITV News correspondent Geraint Vincent reports:

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