"Rough Justice" is what one writer has called the treatment of Danny Nightingale. Yes what's happened to Danny is rough. No it's not justice. Sergeant Danny Nightingale is one of the worlds elite snipers. His career has been the taking of human life. That is what the army taught him to do. He relished his army service so much that he joined one of the worlds elite special forces units. Apparently he was good at his job.
Then he came home. On a Friday afternoon in September of 2011 the police, working a tip form his roommate's estranged wife, came and searched his home for an illegal gun. They found two. His roommate had one in his possession and Danny apparently had a glock handgun and over 300 rounds of ammo for it.
The roommate, whose name has not been released, admitted to being the owner of one of the guns. He didn't want to fess up to owning two of them, because he thought it might make him look bad. He was sentenced and has done his time. Danny also has served 18 months prior to winning an appeal.
One pistol and less than 7 boxes of ammo. I've got more pistol ammo than that on hand in my house. Hell, I've shot more ammo than that in a single afternoon's worth of drills. I'm nowhere near being one of the worlds elite special forces operators.
The big deal is in Great Britain home of the Special Air Services, guns are illegal. They are especially illegal if the women who is divorcing your buddy is looking for some extra leverage. Cops care about these things when the soon to be ex calls in the complaint. Did the women know her husband was SAS? Oh yes. Did the cops? Yeah. The reason they rented the house is because it's just off base and these men are required to be deployable with 30 mins notice to kill Britain's enemies. That's the job, killing people, with guns or bombs or by whatever means necessary.
At first Danny confessed to owning the gun, then he recanted. Danny it seems has a memory disorder that the SAS has known about since 2009. That's right, he has a medically recognized aliment, that the powers that be at SAS knew about before the incident with the glock.
After Danny's mate refused to own up to two guns, the army's lawyers "helped" Danny remember it was his and confess to owning a gun that he can't remember how it came to him. Danny was convicted in a court martial. With his life in ruins Danny started fighting back. He fought back in court, winning a new civilian trail. He fought back in the press. Even Britain's professional politicians saw he was being railroaded and they debated his predicament on the floor of the House of Commons.
At some point, people who could make a difference realized that Danny didn't do the crime. Now he is free, his name is clear and he is persona non grata with the SAS. The army is kicking him out too. The whole hit on the head thing from back in 08 that causes his memory issues, is embarrassingly public knowledge. Danny is being medically discharged. He is in debt for his legal fees and will likely loose his house.
What about Danny's mate? He did his time. He is a member in good standing with the SAS, despite his crimes. The difference between the two men is that Danny spoke up, in doing so he broke the code. The second man, whose name we will likely never know, kept the code despite breaking the law and taking his friend down with him. He will be protected. Danny, who will have his honor, will forever be worse than an outsider, he will be a traitor.
The code doesn't have to make sense, but it is the code.