For your consideration – campaign to "Release an Unfairly Jailed War Hero"

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  • For your consideration – campaign to "Release an Unfairly Jailed War Hero"
  • bwaarp
    Member

    I think the general consensus over at ARRSE was that you shouldn’t be bringing firearms back home as war trophies and that the judge gave him the lowest possible sentence he could as incarceration for the possession of an illegal firearm is mandatory.

    crankboy
    Member

    He also had a stash of ammo including armour piercing rounds and his flat mate had a live grenade all in their off base quarters . The sentence is to prevent soldiers leaving lethal kit laying around where any burglar could find it and represents a massive draw back from the legal “minimum” sentence of 5 years.

    Pigface
    Member

    This could get messy 😆

    nealglover
    Member

    It does seem pretty “fair” to me.

    “Lenient” even ?

    Premier Icon lapierrelady
    Subscriber

    Technically he didn’t bring it back.Whilst he was accompanying a body back to the UK his regiment shipped out. his bags were packed for him and shipped the UK. It is usual for the MP to check for weapons as they pack up- this procedure was not followed which is why he ended up in this predicament.

    bwaarp
    Member

    From what I’d read he was intending to take it back anyway and that it would have been okay had it been kept at work and handed to the regiment for deactivation. It’s when it was taken outside of work that it became an issue.

    There was a case of a squaddy killing his ex with a war trophy kalashnikov and quite a few cases of squaddies brining illegal weapons into the uk, they’re trying to clamp down on it and this will probably serve as a warning.

    Spin
    Member

    A miscarriage of justice may have occurred here but the fact that he is a ‘war hero’ is completely irrelevant.

    wrecker
    Member

    He didnt bring it back. He’d also suffered memory loss due to a fall in the jungle and didnt even realise it was there.
    This chap is a friend of a friend and is very well regarded, even in those circles. Exemplary record. This isn’t a case of a squaddie taking a trophy weapon home and they have pretty easy access to weapons (breakout bags etc) without having to risk their careers for the sake of a glock.

    Premier Icon PePPeR
    Subscriber

    Nah only himself to blame, even back in the eighties when I was in the forces we new the consequences of bringing back weapons and ammo from theatres of war!

    No sympathy what so ever.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    What it seems to come down to, is…
    He didn’t intend for the gun to come back to the UK- it was packed up with other stuff and sent back by other people.
    He hadn’t opened the container it was in- so did he know what was in it? That part’s a bit vague

    bwaarp
    Member

    It’s not a miscarriage of justice as there are no real mitigating factors that would let you off the hook for having a section 5 firearm lying around the house – bar if you’ve just bought a house and you find one under the floorboards etc. The offence is the possession of the firearm not the circumstances surrounding it.

    What it seems to come down to, is…
    He didn’t intend for the gun to come back to the UK- it was packed up with other stuff and sent back by other people.
    He hadn’t opened the container it was in- so did he know what was in it?

    He had wanted to bring it back to the UK as a gift to the regiment. So I should imagine his mates packed it with that in mind.

    wrecker
    Member

    What if someone put one in your house?
    That’s pretty much what happened here.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    He’d also suffered memory loss due to a fall in the jungle and didnt even realise it was there.

    Is it really normal for anyone so affected to be trusted with weapons? That is a quite laughably pathetic lawyers gambit, that really does his credibility more damage than good.

    wrecker
    Member

    Yet was readily accepted by the defence and judge due to expert witness.
    What I don’t get is why his mates put the weapon in his MFO box and not in the Sqn weapons valise?

    bwaarp
    Member

    What if someone put one in your house?
    That’s pretty much what happened here.

    This more or less sums it up. He pleaded guilty as the consequences of fighting it and losing were quite dire.

    It’s not illegal to be sent dodgey stuff because you’re not responsible for your post. It’s not illegal not to open your post, so if you had an unopened item of post that contained something illegal, there would presumably be an argument in law to say that you were not responsible for that item.

    But the prosecution’s argument would have been that he was ‘being sent his stuff’ and knew that his stuff contained a pistol.

    The counter argument would have been that he didn’t remember having a pistol.

    And they decided not to gamble. I think they were sensible.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    The gun was in his wardrobe, in it’s case and he had;

    122 x 9mm live rounds of ammunition
    40 x 7.62mm live rounds of ammunition
    50 x 9mm frangible rounds of ammunition
    50 x 338 armour piercing live rounds of ammunition
    2 x .308 live rounds of ammunition
    74 x 5.56mm live rounds of ammunition

    under his bed. Not exactly put in his house.

    http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/nightingale-proceedings-0607112012.pdf

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    So, he pleaded guilty because his excuse for possession really wasn’t credible, and pleading not guilty would likely have resulted in a far longer sentence. Now he is trying to wage a media campaign, playing up to the “our brave boys gawd bless em” mentality to try and excuse his crime.

    Doesn’t wash with me.

    bwaarp
    Member

    Here’s a post from Arrse that is more or less what I thought.

    +1 to the post above as well. Pleaded guilty because he knew his defence was unsound.

    Edited to add: Let’s no be confused by the evidence of his memory; this was all after the fact of importing and storing the weapon. In other words he appeared to be of sound mind when he allowed the weapon to be imported to the UK (not that he was charged with that) and then stored it. Unless he was completely bonkers from the moment he was allegedly handed the weapon by Iraqi LN, there is, it appears, no defence. Furthermore, no alternative explanation of how he came to be in possession of the weapon (not that this would be a credible defence under this law).

    bwaarp
    Member

    The gun was in his wardrobe, in it’s case and he had;

    122 x 9mm live rounds of ammunition
    40 x 7.62mm live rounds of ammunition
    50 x 9mm frangible rounds of ammunition
    50 x 338 armour piercing live rounds of ammunition
    2 x .308 live rounds of ammunition
    74 x 5.56mm live rounds of ammunition

    under his bed. Not exactly put in his house.

    LMAO apparently he’s read to much Chris Ryan and decided because he’s special forces having a personal armoury in your house is perfectly legal and also a good idea! Jeeze

    crankboy
    Member

    His memory loss and struggle to rebuild his brain is genuine and inspiring but to my mind the timing did not fit easily with his account the gun was back in the UK in his possession well before the memory loss and still in his possession along with the load of ammunition after his recovery. The court martial seemed to be very sympathetic and sent a strong message that he should not lose his job.

    bwaarp
    Member

    In the words of a friend of mine….if he wasn’t 22 but say REME… he would have been thrown out for leaving that kind of shit lying round his house….

    bloodynora
    Member

    Signed. Served for 17yrs. Put his arse on the line. Good luck fella.

    wrecker
    Member

    He was selection DS was he not? Probably a little more reason for having live ammo than a VM 😀

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    Signed. Served for 17yrs. Put his arse on the line. Good luck fella.

    What other jobs do you think should allow a free pass to commit crimes?

    Zulu-Eleven
    Member

    Yeah, it seems that the war stock of assorted ammo under the bed pretty much scuppered the ‘it was in a box and I forgot about it’ excuse for the pistol in the wardrobe 😐

    I think that he’s a very lucky boy that the CM called for him to be kept and allowed to ‘soldier on’ after his sentence.

    In other news, once again it seems that its not more firearms laws that are needed, but proper application of the ones already in place

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/nov/19/ipcc-report-guns-atherton-bbc

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    You know why Lady Justice usually has a blindfold on in statues, don’t you?

    bloodynora
    Member

    MSP, what a stupid comment.

    bwaarp
    Member

    Nahh, I’m inclined to agree with MSP. Letting him off the hook would encourage any pongo lacking a few brain cells to bring home firearms.

    bloodynora
    Member

    Says the opposite to me. Serve your country faithfully for 17yrs and get made an example of for something that couldve been sorted a bit more diplomatically given his length of distinguished service.

    bwaarp
    Member

    It was dealt with diplomatically, they gave him the lowest sentence they legally could and let him stay in the forces. He won’t end up doing the full 18 months, he’ll effectively be having a gap year in a prison thinking about what an idiot he’s been. As opposed to spending 5-10 years in the slammer with a discharge.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    Says the opposite to me. Serve your country faithfully for 17yrs and get made an example of for something that couldve been sorted a bit more diplomatically given his length of distinguished service.

    FFS he had his own personal arsenal in his bedroom, he excuse wasn’t credible, but by entering a plea he got treated leniently.
    You just seem to have taken his lawyers statement as gospel without actually thinking about what he was doing.

    piemonster
    Member

    Agreeing with MSP there

    bloodynora
    Member

    Yeah thats why 30,000 people have signed his petition and counting…. sometimes things are just right 😉

    Duggan
    Member

    Surprised that his family have gone down the applying-pressure-via-the-media route.

    I would have thought that for a guy in the SAS, doing 18 months in a military prison isn’t going to be that traumatic? I thought he’d got ten years or something when I saw that there was a media campaign for him.

    nealglover
    Member

    Says the opposite to me. Serve your country faithfully for 17yrs and get made an example of [/b]for something that couldve been sorted a bit more diplomatically given his length of distinguished service.

    As MSP said then…..

    what other Jobs do you think should come with a free pass to commit crimes ?

    piemonster
    Member

    Yeah thats why 30,000 people have signed

    Yeh, coz that’s what we need is people responding to a media campaigns succeeding in overturning court decisions. Just as well have a “get 50000 people to click like on Facebook” Coz that’s how law should work.

    And what are these people basing there judgement on, because if it’s the links provided in the OP it isn’t enough.

    bwaarp
    Member

    Yeah thats why 30,000 people have signed

    30,000 people are uninformed idiots.

    bencooper
    Member

    Yeah, a mate who’s in the forces passed this around on FB – it sounded a bit dodgy to me so I looked into it some more as well. Really, he got off lightly – people have got a lot more for less.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    I’m not the right person to judge if someone is a war hero (I don’t equate wars and heroes if I’m honest) but from the Telegraph article it sounded like while he was out of the country his mates had packed his stuff up sent it home and he’d never really known what was in it – I had some sympathy.

    Unfortunately that was eroded somewhat by the suggestion that the had enough ammo to take on a small army stashed at home. Now I accept not everything on t’interweb is true, not even on STW, but I’m struggling to feel sorry for him.

    And to think, based on those I’ve met (not to be fair a large sample), the special forces guys are normally the intelligent ones.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 133 total)

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