Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Plea Bargaining in the UK?

Yesterday I commented on the plight of the SAS Sergeant who had been sentenced to 18 months in a military prison at Colchester for importing an Iraqi pistol illegally.  Today his father spoke out on SKY news and intimated that his son had been a victim of 'plea bargaining'.

This has become a major part of the American legal system and it means that if you plead 'guilty' you may get a much reduced sentence. If you do not plead 'guilty' and get found 'guilty' then they throw the book at you for being uncooperative.

I cannot believe that a British army military court would use this method of extracting a conviction and if they did is it legal?  I admit that I am speaking from a platform of legal ignorance but there is so much slithering going on in our courts which would not have been tolerated years ago that I think it should be challenged.

I don't yet know how this case came to court.  The pistol arrived in a box packed by Sgt Nightingale's mates. Apparently he did not open it for 2 years.  He intended to present the pistol to a museum.
So what was wrong with a wrap on the knuckles for a technical breach of the rules? He has served for 17 years and is an elite soldier so why is he being treated in this abysmal manner?  I still believe that there is an underlying reason for this sentence because it is blatantly unfair!

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