Army Major given suspended jail term
0 • Created by Fr Admin • 28 February 2012 12:56 • 398 views • •
Fr Admin • 28 February 2012 12:56Army Major given suspended jail term
Major Robert Armstrong, who was awarded the MC for gallantry three years ago, faced a court martial for separate charges, including the possession of secret documents which the judge said could have undermined national security.
He pleaded guilty to three other charges, including unlawful possession of an automatic pistol, ammunition and a morphine injector.
Judge Advocate General of the Forces, Judge Jeff Blackett, told him: "In the wrong hands these documents threatened the internal security of the United Kingdom and could have led to widespread loss of life.
"You have taken a very cavalier attitude to the retaining and handling of dangerous material.
"The potential lethal value of the ammunition to the criminal underworld if it had been stolen is substantial and could have been used for criminal purposes. The results could have been devastating."
Judge Blackett told Armstrong, 38, at the court martial in Colchester, Essex: "You are clearly an outstanding field officer who has performed exceptionally well on operations but you have placed yourself in a position where you could never again command the support and respect of subordinates."
Shortly after the Royal Artillery major was awarded the MC, an investigation was ordered after claims that his gallantry in Afghanistan was exaggerated.
Military Police found secret documents on a laptop in his office in Thiepval Barracks, Northern Ireland.
A damaged Glock semi-automatic pistol, more than 270 rounds of ammunition, a morphine injector and another laptop and computer storage device containing sensitive documents were found in his house.
Armstrong told the Military Police the pistol had belonged to an Iraqi policeman killed in an explosion. The major said he had intended to have it mounted and presented to his regiment.
Lt Col Callum Cowx, prosecuting, said Armstrong had appointed himself amnesty officer but failed to return ammunition for his unit. Lt Col Cowx added: "The consequences of some of the documents falling into the wrong hands could have been dire for national security."
The press and public were excluded as details of the documents, relating to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, were outlined. None of the information had been leaked.
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