Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Appeal date set for SAS sniper

Sergeant Danny Nightingale was handed an 18-month custodial sentence in November for illegally possessing a pistol

The SAS sniper jailed for illegally possessing a pistol will have his appeal against his conviction heard in March, his lawyer says.

Sergeant Danny Nightingale was handed an 18-month custodial sentence in November for illegally possessing a pistol and ammunition but was released three weeks later on appeal against his sentence, following widespread public outcry after a campaign by his wife Sally.

The 38-year-old, from Crewe, Cheshire, has vowed to clear his name and appeal against his conviction.

His appeal will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on March 13, his lawyer Simon McKay said.

Sgt Nightingale and wife Sally said they were looking forward to putting the case behind them. In a statement the couple, who have two daughters, said: "We are pleased the appeal has been listed and are looking forward to being able to put the case behind us and move on with our lives.

"The anxiety of a possible retrial if the convictions are quashed still exists but we hope the Service Prosecuting Authority will decide not to pursue this option."

Mr McKay added: "There is a good deal of confidence that the appeal will result in the convictions being quashed and we are looking forward to the hearing in March."

Sgt Nightingale was released from military detention on November 30 after his sentence was overturned.

His lawyers argued he pleaded guilty to possessing the Glock 9mm pistol - a gift after he served in Iraq - because he was led to believe he would get a lenient sentence.

Sgt Nightingale, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he did not remember having the pistol due to a brain injury that affected his memory.

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