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Accused sniper blames memory loss

An SAS sniper accused of possessing a pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition has blamed memory loss for originally confessing to the crime.

Sergeant Danny Nightingale, 38, said he "confabulated" and might have latched on to his housemate's explanations for how the Glock 9mm handgun and 338 rounds of ammunition were found in his bedroom.

Giving evidence at his court martial in Bulford, Wiltshire, Sgt Nightingale denied that the arsenal was his.

He said he was suffering problems with his memory following a severe brain injury in 2009 - after which he spent three days in a coma - and what he told police in 2011 was incorrect.

The father-of-two said because of his memory he had filled in the gaps with false versions of how the gun came to be in his wardrobe and the ammunition in a box under his bed after police raided the home he shared with his housemate, known only as Soldier N.

Soldier N has previously admitted that one of the two Glock pistols found in the house and much of the ammunition was his and is serving a two-year sentence.

Sgt Nightingale subsequently told police he had been given the second gun by Iraqis he worked alongside in 2007. He explained to police that he accumulated the ammunition because he worked as a range instructor and kept some of it at home, rather than return it to stores, to save time.

But Sgt Nightingale said this was not the case and said he was a "diligent" soldier who would not have operated in such a way.

Sgt Nightingale, of Crewe, Cheshire, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of a prohibited firearm, namely a Glock 9mm pistol, between November 26, 2007 and September 16, 2011.

He also denies possession on or about September 16, 2011 of ammunition, namely 122 9mm live rounds, 40 7.62mm live rounds, 50 9mm frangible rounds, 50 .338 armour piercing live rounds, two .308 live rounds and 74 5.56mm live rounds.

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