Former SAS sniper Danny Nightingale 'breached weapons rules'

Sergeant accused of storing Glock 9mm pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition in his bedroom

A special forces soldier has claimed it was a gross breach of regulations for former SAS sniper Danny Nightingale to have a pistol and ammunition stored in his bedroom.

Nightingale is accused of storing a Glock 9mm pistol in his wardrobe and more than 300 rounds of ammunition under his bed. Giving evidence to Nightingale’s court martial, one of his former colleagues said strict army rules governing the management of weapons and ammunition applied to all service personnel, including special forces.

Timothy Cray, prosecuting, asked the serviceman, who was known only as Soldier Y: “In your unit was there any statement for exception or turning a blind eye to these orders as far as ammunition is concerned?”

Soldier Y replied: “We have no dispensation nor have we had any.”

Cray asked: “Given the nature of your unit was there any special exemptions in terms of members of the unit having firearms for their own use that had not been issued by the unit?”

Soldier Y replied: “None whatsoever.”

Cray asked the witness: “The allegations against Sergeant Nightingale are that he had an unauthorised firearm in his bedroom of his single service substitute accommodation and 338 rounds of live ammunition. From a unit point of view, if that were true, how seriously would such a breach be regarded?”

Soldier Y replied: “It would be regarded as a gross breach, bearing in mind the nature and quantity of the ammunition that was allegedly found at the defendant’s house.”

Nightingale, 38, denies the illegal possession of the pistol and ammunition. The court martial at Bulford in Wiltshire has previously heard that his explanation of how he came to have the items had changed. Nightingale initially claimed the pistol was a war trophy given to him by Iraqis he had helped during a posting there, and he had accumulated the ammunition because he worked as a range instructor and had failed to book it back through poor administration.

But Cray said Nightingale seemed to be saying that someone else might have put the gun and ammunition in his room.

The courtroom was cleared on Tuesday while Y gave his evidence. The public and press watched proceedings from an annexe where they could hear the soldier’s evidence but not see him.

Nightingale’s family, including his wife, Sally, and father, Humphrey, were in court to support him.

The court martial continues. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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