Two soldiers and accomplice sentenced over SAS equipment theft

Two soldiers and an accomplice have been sentenced for stealing £45,000 of SAS equipment from an army camp.

Sgt Craig Davenport and Sgt Stephen Suffield took items including body armour, distraction grenades, flares, and night-vision goggles from Stirling Lines Army Camp in Hereford.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard these were then passed to Andrew Stevens, who sold globally through contacts on Ebay.

All three admitted conspiracy to commit theft.

'Blinded with obsession'

Some of the stolen items were on an official list of items Attractive to Criminal and Terrorist Organisations (ACTO), prosecutor Adam Norris said.

"The significance is our security forces, if dealing with a situation, would not want to be confronted with the sort of equipment they themselves use," he said.

Military gaming business owner Stevens, 41, from Horndean in Hampshire - who was arrested after radioactive material in night-vision goggles set off an alert in Heathrow airport in June 2015 - was sentenced to two years in prison.

Nina Tavakoli, his lawyer, said her client had become "blinded with his obsession with collecting military paraphernalia".

She said: "He no longer wants anything to do with it, he is now collecting Star Wars paraphernalia instead."

Thirty-year-old Afghanistan and Iraq veteran Davenport, from Crewe in Cheshire, was jailed for 22 months.

Judge Claudia Ackner told him: "You have thrown away all you have achieved from your long career."

Suffield, 28, who resigned from the Royal Logistics Corp in Chippenham, was handed an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £2,500 compensation.

His lawyer said he got involved to pay off £16,000 if gambling debts.

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