Belfast Telegraph

Decorated Army officer dismissed over secret files stash

By Ben Kendall

An Army officer decorated for his bravery in Afghanistan has avoided a jail term but been dismissed from the forces for keeping top secret documents at his home.

The documents, along with a gun and ammunition, were found when Major Robert Armstrong's service quarters in Lisburn, Co Antrim, were raided in May 2009 in a probe into claims he was awarded the Military Cross based on exaggerated claims.

Colchester Military Court heard he had not been charged over these allegations but an “administrative investigation” was under way.

Armstrong (38), of the Royal Artillery, did not display his MC as he appeared for sentencing for four counts of conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline under the 1955 Army Act which he previously admitted.

Prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Callum Cowx said the documents included 43 confidential, 114 secret and two top secret files. A further 23 documents were potentially sensitive.

The charges relate to possession of the documents, an inoperable Glock pistol, 273 rounds of ammunition and a morphine injector.

When interviewed, Armstrong said he transferred the documents to his personal laptop so he could work on them at home.

He forgot the items were there and was “taken aback” when they were discovered in the search.

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