Today, Sgt Nightingale appealed the sentence imposed for two firearms offences. The background to the case can be found here.
The Appeal was heard by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, Mr Justice Fulford and Mr Justice Bean sitting as the Court Martial Appeal Court.
Sgt Nightingale’s solicitor, Simon McKay, stated that an appeal against conviction would follow, most likely to be heard in the new year. It is unclear on what basis the conviction appeal will be put, however, it would appear that Sgt Nightingale would need to vacate his plea.
Remarks have not yet been published, however it is understood that:
a) Leave to appeal conviction was granted and the hearing was adjourned,
b) Appeal against sentence granted, with the 18-month sentence reduced to 12 months, and suspended for 12 months.
It is currently unclear on what basis the sentence appeal was successful, however the result is one that many predicted. Dan Bunting was adamant from the beginning that Sgt Nightingale would win his appeal and sentence would be reduced to effect his immediate release.
I stand by my view that the offence is a serious one and should, in light of the comments in R v Avis (guideline case on firearms offences), receive a lengthy period of imprisonment.
It is not possible to comment on the reasons for the judgment as they are currently unclear, however they will certainly make interesting reading and Uk Criminal Law Blog will have an analysis up in due course.