posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 11:32 AM
reply to post by OtherSideOfTheCoin
I have read the article, but I don't think that the judge had the option to give him a suspended sentence. Possession of a firearm in the UK always
carries a custodial sentence and usually is something like 3-5 years minimum so it seems like he was let of very lightly.
I feel bad for the guy, but despite the brain injury and even if he did actually forget about having the weapon he did break the law by bringing it
over with him and keeping it at his house. If he did intend to have it deactivated and hung as a war trophy on his base then he should never have had
it in his possession while it was still a functioning weapon. A lot of weapons are lost by the military every year in the UK and pistols are one of
the most common types to be lost and unfortunately there are those who take military equipment away for either themselves or to sell on the street. It
is a very very small % of military personnel who do this, but I have read articles going back a while that talk about this problem and how the missing
weapons are rarely recovered which means that in cases like this they want to come down hard on the guy to dissuade others from doing the same. Many
soldiers suffering PTSD also seem to feel the need to be armed or have access to a weapon as well even once they are back safely at home as well as
those who may want a souvenir so I wouldn't be surprised if this is more common.
He will most likely serve only half of his sentence which would be about 9 months as well so he did get off very lightly, but the other part of the
punishment is that his career is over and that is very sad. He was not ignorant of what he was doing though and knew full well that it as illegal to
possess the functioning weapon so brain injury or not he still broke the law and knew that what he was doing was not legal. The brain injury probably
meant that he forgot about it and thus lead to it being found, but I also think it is possible that he actually knew it was there all along.
Now this is just speculation, but if he is telling the truth about how he wanted to have it deactivated and hung as a war trophy in his base then he
would not have taken it home himself and instead would have had to speak with his superiors about the proper way to bring the weapon back home
legally, probably this would mean keeping it in the armies possession at all times. I'm sure that in this case it would be deactivated and hung up
fairly quickly or kept in an armoury until the process was complete as you can't just give a pistol to a soldier to hang on to when it's a fully
functioning weapon. I think most likely he wanted to keep it for himself, maybe he intended to have it deactivated in the future who knows and after
the accident he forgot that he had it, but I have to stay I find his story a bit hard to believe as he kept the firearms in his possession at all
time. If the army found him to be carrying it then he probably would have lost his job anyway for gross misconduct as a soldier bringing a weapon back
like that is against the armies strict regulations,. It is possible that due to his rank and experience with the SAS that he was able to get the
weapon home without it being noticed as I know soldiers coming home often are searched for contraband including drugs and ammunition.
I know like me most people will feel very bad for this guy, but he made a very silly mistake and he knew what he was doing so unfortunately he has to
pay the price for it. Our laws don't take into account details like those in the story. Our gun laws more or less are very rigid and state that if
you are found with an illegal firearm you will go to prison. 18 months is a very light sentence for this offence so I think that the judge was as
lenient as he could have been. There is no way that anyone can receive a suspended sentence for possession or a n illegal firearm, it always will be a