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SAS Hero Nightingale Goes Free

30.11.2012

Jailed SAS veteran, Danny Nightingale, has walked free following an appeal hearing in London, yesterday. Nightingale, who had been detained and was facing an 18 month stretch in military prison for the illegal possession of a handgun and ammunition.

While the Court Martial Appeal Court upheld the conviction, it reduced the sentence to 12 months, suspended, meaning the SAS hero could return home.

Nightingale's case had become something of a cause célèbre, with many people, including former special forces soldiers and newspaper columnists, professing outrage at the harshness of the original sentence, especially in light of the SAS man's service record and mitigating factors around the offence.

Sgt Nightingale was a member of the 22nd Special Air Service who served in Iraq during a deployment with Task Force Black, a British Special Forces task group that carried out numerous operations against Al Qaeda and other enemy forces. Nightingale was given a Glock pistol by members of the Iraqi special forces unit he helped train and mentor. The pistol was packed and returned to the UK by SAS colleagues after Nightingale had returned to the UK to help bury two SAS soldiers killed in a helicopter crash. The appeal court heard that Sgt Nightingale had forgotten he had the pistol in his possession, due in part to memory loss caused by being in a coma following his collapse on a march in Belize.

While thrilled that Nightingale is free and will be home for Christmas, Nightingale, his wife and other supporters, intend to continue the fight to have his conviction quashed completely.

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