As reported in the update to our 1400 post today, Danny has been freed. He actually won an expedited appeal of his sentence at the Court Martial Appeals Court in London, Britain’s equivalent of the US Court of Military Appeals. The judges reduced his sentence to a year, which allowed them to suspend it. He still remains convicted, but he’s free, and he’s gone from feeling betrayed to feeling grateful (albeit to two different sets of people).
Details on the appeal results are found in this Channel 4 News story, which also has the following explanation of how his conviction happened:
The weapon found in Sergeant Nightingale’s accommodation – a 9mm glock [sic] – had been given to him by a group of Iraqi soldiers he helped train in 2007. Sergeant Nightingale was planning to pass on the pistol to his SAS regiment as a trophy.
He’d been given it in 2007 by the Iraqi army. When he returned to Britain in a hurry, colleagues packed it up with his other equipment. A couple of years later, he took part in a charity run in Brazil – but collapsed and suffered brain damage and memory loss.
It wasn’t just any old run — it was a 132-mile run. Should have been well within reach of any ground SOF guy, but back to back tours in the sandbox play hell with one’s physical fitness.
Then two years ago, Sergeant Nightingale – now recovered – moved into an army house with a fellow soldier, in preparation for being sent to Afghanistan. The Glock – still packed alongside his other kit, went with him. But because of his brain injury he says he forgot he had it.
While the two men were in Afghanistan, his housemate’s wife complained to police that she was a victim of domestic violence. She told police that her husband kept ammunition. They searched the military accomodation and found Seargeant Nightingale’s gun.
That last bit’s got something skwewy going on, as Elmer Fudd would say. Her husband was in Iraq, but she was the victim of domestic violence? By whom, Danny’s wife?
Perhaps this just illustrates that nothing can screw up your military career like a woman, and it doesn’t even have to be your woman!