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Thread: Back in the spotlight

  1. #1

    Back in the spotlight

    This hasn't gone away, even though it has always appeared an open and shut case.

    SAS Sniper Danny Nightingale
    changed his story about pistol, court martial told

    Prosecutor says ex-special forces soldier now claims weapon and ammunition found at his house may have been planted

    Former SAS sniper Danny Nightingale, who denies possession of the pistol and the ammunition.

    A former special forces soldier has changed his account of how a pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition came to be stored in the bedroom of his civilian house, a court martial has been told.

    Sergeant Danny Nightingale originally claimed the weapon had been brought back to the UK as a trophy from Iraq, where he had been serving. But Nightingale was now apparently claiming that the weapon and ammunition may have been planted by somebody else, the court martial heard. He denies possession of the pistol and the ammunition.

    Setting out the prosecution's case, Timothy Cray said Nightingale insisted that his confusion followed a serious illness he suffered while taking part in an endurance event in Brazil.
    Cray acknowledged that Nightingale was a fine soldier but he said that no member of the armed services was above the law of the land. He told the five-person panel hearing the court martial in Wiltshire: "No soldier, no matter what his experience or what unit he is attached to is above the law."
    He added: "Even good soldiers can make mistakes. We say he made a series of mistakes that put the public at risk."

    Cray told the court that in September 2011 a house in the UK shared by the defendant and a fellow member of special forces, who can be identified only as N, was searched by police.
    In Nightingale's wardrobe they found a Glock pistol and under his bed 338 live rounds of ammunition, including 172 rounds that could have been used in the pistol. The gun was found in a black case, the ammunition in a large clear plastic box, it was claimed.

    Cray said possession of the gun and ammunition was in breach of service standing orders and contrary to the laws of the land.
    He continued: "We say there is no excuse for what the defendant did. No matter how he tries to deny it, the gun and ammunition were in his bedroom because he put them there and kept them there.
    "These are the plain facts, which he will not face up to. The prosecution says that he possessed these lethal items unlawfully and he chose to leave them in an insecure, civilian house."

    Cray said the law was strict because of the "dangers to life and public safety that arise" if such equipment falls in the wrong hands.
    He added: "Those dangers were particularly acute in this case given the quantity of 9mm rounds that were stored in the same room as the gun."
    Cray said Nightingale gave "various explanations" as to how he got hold of the gun and ammunition.
    He first told police he was given the gun by Iraqis during a mission to Baghdad. He said he put the pistol into a large green "gorilla" box used to transport his kit home.
    Cray claimed Nightingale said he had not fired it, but had stripped and assembled it and thus knew that all the working parts were there.

    Regarding the ammunition, Cray said Nightingale gave a detailed account of moving it to his house. He said he had "accumulated" the ammunition because he was a range instructor and it had built up through poor administration and repeated failures to book it back into secure stores or put it in an amnesty bin.
    But Cray said Nightingale now seemed to be claiming that those explanations were "unreliable" and that "someone else could have put the gun in his wardrobe and the ammunition under his bed".

    Nightingale was claiming that his unreliable memory was the result of an illness suffered during a recreational endurance event in Brazil in October 2009.
    Cray said: "The crown's case is that there is no proper basis for the defendant having false memories in relation to the pistol or the ammunition.
    "The evidence will show that he returned to full duty with a special forces unit in January 2010, passed all assessments and was fit to deploy in an operation role to Afghanistan."
    Cray said the case had attracted wide media interest partly because of the "mystique" that surrounds the unit and the "secrecy that cloaks its operations".
    But he said there were no special exemptions for the unit when it came to following the relevant standing orders regarding the storage of ammunition and arms.

    He went on: "We suggest there is nothing very mysterious about this case. It turns on the common-sense proposition that a soldier is, or should be, responsible for his own kit and that either the defendant stored these items in his bedroom or that someone else managed to plant them and the defendant managed to miss them and had nothing to do with them."

    Cray told the court that the search of Nightingale's bedroom followed an allegation made against his housemate, soldier N.
    N has admitted storing a weapon, ammunition and hand grenade at the address, and is serving a sentence for those offences.

    Cray suggested to the board that they had to decide if Nightingale put the pistol and ammunition in his bedroom or whether someone else had done so.
    They had to ask themselves: "If the gun and ammunition belonged to someone else how did the defendant miss it?" Finally a question to consider was: "Is this claim of memory loss the truth or a lie told to try and avoid the consequences of the truth?"

    The court martial continues.
    If I'm going to be accused of it then it's just as well I did it.

  2. #2
    What a crock. Just grow a pair and accept you got caught
    Sako 75 6.5x55mm-Z6i 3-18x50. MauserM12 .308-SIII 6-24x50. Beretta 690 III Field 12b.
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
    He knew what he was doing was illegall.. GUILTY as charged M'lud.

  4. #4
    How on earth can a special forces soldier, or indeed any soldier, not know what is legal or illegal about holding such a weapon and ammunition privately in the UK?
    ​It's illogical to believe an expert in the use of such weapons cannot understand such a thing - or. is it me? ATB
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  5. #5
    I get the feeling that he's just trying to wriggle, but telling different stories means for sure somewhere down the line he's lying and therefore his credibility rating is zip. The best thing for him, assuming the prosecution evidence is compelling, which it appears to be, is to 'fess up in the hope that he's given credit for that when sentencing is decided.

  6. #6
    This has become a bit of a sad sorry tale.

    He was guilty first time round and I am shocked he is now alleging someone planted the items in his quarters.

    I can't think that can work to his advantage.

  7. #7
    There must be a back story behind this whole crock of ****.

    What caused the police to go and search this guys house in the first place?

    Did some local cop think , "oh look, there's an SAS man, I think I'll search his gaff on the off chance he might have an unlicensed side arm"...?

    Pretty unlikely. He has crossed some one who has then dropped him in it.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  8. #8

    The transcript states that a fellow soldier informed the Police of the matter. I.e. the fellow soldier had been made aware the items were being kept by Nightingale.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Claret_Dabbler View Post
    There must be a back story behind this whole crock of ****.

    What caused the police to go and search this guys house in the first place?

    Did some local cop think , "oh look, there's an SAS man, I think I'll search his gaff on the off chance he might have an unlicensed side arm"...?

    Pretty unlikely. He has crossed some one who has then dropped him in it.
    I thought when this case originally came about it was the house share mate of The defendant that had been involved in some form of domestic dispute and it was his other half that passed the information leading to the house search.
    I remember not long ago on this forum site a link to a petition trying to get the conviction quashed !!!
    And how everyone thought he had been hard done to.
    Oh how attitudes change

  10. #10
    That was before he changed his story Wingy.
    The best lies are based on the truth, but finding the truth in this case is going to take some doing.

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