Conditional Discharge For Former Army Officer Who Left Ammunition In Garden Shed

PUBLISHED: 11:44 15 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:11 04 May 2010

A FORMER army officer left live ammunition in his garden shed when he went off for a tour of duty in Iraq. Shane Fox - who served 26 years in the British army -- got hold of the ammunition during a training exercise before he was posted, and kept it at ho

A FORMER army officer left live ammunition in his garden shed when he went off for a tour of duty in Iraq.

Shane Fox - who served 26 years in the British army -- got hold of the ammunition during a training exercise before he was posted, and kept it at home rather than handing it over to the army's amnesty box.

The 54 rounds of .223 military ammunition were discovered when Fox's estranged wife cleared out the shed at her Witchford home, Ely magistrates were told.

"She went to Ely Police Station and told officers she had found the ammunition; officers attended her address and seized it," said prosecutor Laura Mardell.

Fox, a former platoon sergeant in the infantry, told police it was part of his job role to return unused ammunition to the amnesty box at the end of an exercise.

"He identified the ammunition in the shed, he had not followed the normal protocol," she said.

Fox, 43, now of Tonbridge Walk, Grimsby, admitted possessing ammunition for a firearm without a certificate between 1 June 2007 and 30 June 2008.

Solicitor Veronica Candy said Fox had served in the Mercian Regiment, and had undergone training at Catterick and in Germany before going to Iraq.

"Part of his duties was to collect any unused rounds," she said. "As a sergeant it was his job to make sure soldiers did what they were supposed to do."

She said the live rounds and blanks were left in Fox's rucksack, and he put them in a secure shed.

"They would have gone back to the amnesty box, but events overtook him," she added. "He went to Iraq for six months, returned home for a weekend, and then never returned home."

Fox was given a 12-month conditional discharge with £85 costs. The court ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the ammunition.

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