Mar 13 2013
An SAS sniper has won an appeal against convictions for illegally possessing a pistol and ammunition.
Danny Nightingale, 38, of Crewe, Cheshire, was sentenced to 18 months' military detention by a judge sitting in a military court in November 2012 after admitting illegally possessing a Glock 9mm pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition.
The Court of Appeal quashed the convictions and ordered a retrial after a hearing in London.
Lawyers had argued that Sergeant Nightingale had been placed under "improper pressure" to plead guilty at a military court trial and that his conviction was "unsafe".
The Court of Appeal had concluded at a hearing in late November that the sentence was too harsh.
At that hearing three appeal judges had cut the term to 12 months, said it should be suspended, and ordered Sergeant Nightingale's release.
Sergeant Nightingale said outside court: "I'm very relieved that the conviction has been quashed. Very relieved. Fantastic. We now have a retrial to face."
He said any decision on whether he returned to duty pending the retrial would be for the Ministry of Defence.