PM expresses 'sympathy' for former SAS soldier imprisoned for firearm possession
Tuesday 27 November 2012
A former SAS soldier sent to prison for possessing a gun and ammunition given to him as a present by Iraqi forces has said he has lost faith in the military justice system, and holds little hope in his appeal succeeding.
Sergeant Danny Nightingale will have his case heard by a court martial appeal court tomorrow, with support for him mounting among politicians and the media.
Claiming he had forgotten that he was in possession of the pistol and 300 rounds of live ammunition due to amnesia caused by a brain injury he suffered in 2009, Sgt Nightingale has been supported by the Defence Secretary Hammond Philip Hammond and seen the Prime Minister David Cameron express his "sympathy" for his situation.
He says he only pleaded guilty on the understanding that he would avoid a possible five-year sentence.
But speaking yesterday, he compared himself to an animal pacing up and down its cage in a zoo, saying he could not bear to hold any confidence in his chances of being released.
"If I go into it in an optimistic way, it'll be very hard to be told something I don't want to hear," he said in a phone call from his prison.
Speaking to Channel 4 News, he added that he was "putting up a barrier" to avoid the psychological torment that he would inevitably feel if he gave in to hope that he will be a free man only to then have that expectation dashed.
"I hold absolutely no faith in the military court martial system," said the 37-year-old, from Crewe in Cheshire.
Sgt Nightingale was found guilty of illegal possession of a 9mm Glock pistol and ammunition, found by police at his Hereford accommodation.
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Alton Towers closed after horror crash on The Smiler raises safety questions for theme park
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 2 Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop