UK & World News
SAS Sniper's Case Review 'Inappropriate'
Attorney General Dominic Grieve has said it would be "inappropriate" for him to review the decision to prosecute an SAS sergeant for illegal possession of a weapon.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond wrote to Mr Grieve asking him to examine if proper consideration had been given to whether a prosecution of Sgt Danny Nightingale was in the public interest before the case was brought to court martial.
Sgt Nightingale is serving an 18-month sentence in military detention after pleading guilty to having a prohibited firearm and ammunition.
The father of two, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, suffers medical problems which affect his memory and says he did not remember having the weapon, which was a gift from Iraqi soldiers he had been training.
A spokesman for the Attorney General's office said: "It would be inappropriate for the Attorney General to review either the decision to prosecute or comment on the appropriateness of the sentence.
"That is a matter for the Court Martial Appeal Court, in due course."
Sgt Nightingale's wife Sally said: "I was extremely hopeful of a early decision on Danny's fate after the announcement of the Defence Secretary, who asked for a review of his case, so I am very disappointed that the Attorney General has refused to do so."
"The appeal is being lodged tomorrow and I hope that he will at least consider reviewing any decision by the Service Prosecuting Authority to oppose the appeal and seek a re-trial if Danny's conviction is quashed."
MPs will be able to raise concerns about the case with Solicitor General Oliver Heald after Canterbury MP Julian Brazier secured a debate in the House of Commons.
SAS veterans have been outraged by the case, and four special forces veterans, including the former commanding officer of the SAS, have written an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, claiming Sgt Nightingale was "the victim of a monstrous miscarriage of justice".
Sgt Nightingale pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a 9mm Glock pistol which had been packed up and returned to him by colleagues after he had to leave Iraq in a hurry to help organise the funeral of two friends killed in action.
He also admitted possessing ammunition.
Sgt Nightingale's father Humphrey has told Sky News his son was bullied into pleading guilty at the court martial.
Humphrey Nightingale said: "We knew Danny was not guilty but the judge made it quite clear that if he did not plead guilty he would be sent to a civilian jail for a minimum of five years.
"Our hands were tied and we had no other option - Danny has a lovely wife and a young family. We expected a lenient sentence - maybe suspended - but instead he was sentenced to 18 months."
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what do you think?
A report I heard suggested that he also had a large amount of ammunition. As a serving soldier he should have handed it in as soon as he was given it. I feel he has been harshly dealt with, given that soldiers bring home "souvenirs" all the time but the more the facts come out the more one has to wonder about his actions at the time of receipt of the "gift".
So if he brought a ton of heroin back that's ok? It's against the law buddy.
People so bring tons of heroin to england and get away with it
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This man developed a new chest dressing technique that proved so useful not only did thr army medics start using it but the nhs now use it also. It has saved hundreds maybe thousands of lives. For which he recieved no financial reward.. Google Nightingdale dressing
Might I suggest the main issue is being overlooked that being the way in which the conviction was obtained which denied him full rights of defending himself. i.e Plead guilty or get a long custodial sentence.
It certainly sounds like there was undue pressure has been applied. The way the Government and the Military treat there soldiers, I am surprised we still have anyone willing to risk their lives for this country............
True Gordon my experience is that everyone wants to cover their back side.
My dad was in the army. He died years ago. He used to do parades with a very sharp Wilkinson sword. One day, in Singapore, he said, "I shouldn't be showing you all this but it's a genuine Wilkinson army parade sword." We were all in the car, then he went back on parade. Once, he said, "I really shouldn't be showing you this but it's a Browning 9 milimetre pistol." I don't think that matters so much because it didn't have any ammunition. I suppose, if that gun was a gift, in this news article, he could have had it modified into a safe weapon but I don't know what the rules are about that. I think the fact that he also had ammunition for it, seems to be what matters. If he didn't have any bullets, it wouldn't seem anything like it does. Do SAS take guns home with them? I don't know. My dad showed us some weapons under very different circumstances, as did some of his friends. I suppose, really, the SAS have always been considered to be, something of a law unto themselves, in many respects but I don't know what their rules are about transportation and storage of weapons. I've only read two books about them and one was mostly photographs, such as parachuting from 40,000ft with full combat gear.
A very harsh sentence to say the least. It looks like he's been stitched up having to plead guilty as charged. This needs reviewing. Perhaps our pm will defy the judges ruling? ? But I doubt it.
Robert whether civil or military plead guilty for a lighter sentence applies and that is NOT justice
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Haveing back up guns were common when i was in us forces ten years ago mine are in storage at Quanaco base in states.i have a barret.50 ,stone m63 and hush puppy 9mm.as thay are on a usmc base i am ok.if thay left base than you would face jail
mark! Playing paintball does not make you a soldier.
Blackhawke doorgunner for ten years mate.born in huntsville texas .served in kosavo to afganistan .onley left after my gf was killed
Sorry to hear that, Mark.
But your's are in the US where owning guns is legal.
come die for the brittish army.we will send you to afghanastan if you die at the hands of the terrorists...the same ones we are teaching to be police..(tough) but if you defend your self or shot first or kill a terrorist.. we the spinelss GOV will try to prosecute you any way possible to make us look good..how low can this GOV go..
Why should he be treated any different. You break the law, you pay the price regardless
Not true Rio, if you are a enemy of our state, our laws bend over backwards to protect you, to give you hugh state handouts, to protect your interests over the general public, to support your every whim, to lambast anyone who says anything that might upset you or your human rights. I like your general view if you break our laws, you pay , unfortunately this does not happen, it only happens to British people
Amazing the way we treat our own - if he was a foreign national he could counter claim his human rights were being breached and live a life of luxury for him and his family state funded indefinately. Awful!
Roy E Millington
This is ridiculous he should be released immediately, wonder what would happen if he did a qatada and ent to the court of human rights. the gov is robbing his family of a husband and father
I suppose we should not be surprised at this comment from the Attorney General. This is the same Dominic Grieve who recently said it would be inappropriate for Britain to defy the European Court of Human Rights and refuse prisoners the vote...............