Yesterday, judges reduced his sentence to 12-months suspended.

Now, Sgt Nightingale and his family are readying to fight to overturn the conviction altogether and clear his name.

Sgt Nightingale pleaded guilty to the charges at a court martial this month after West Mercia Police found the gun and ammunition in the soldier’s Hereford accommodation.

His family has said the only reason he made a guilty plea was for fear of the five year sentence he could get if he contested the charge at a court martial.

The decorated soldier said he was given the gun as a gift from soldiers he trained with in Iraq.

His father, Humphrey Nightingale, said: “We’re not just going to lie down. We want to get justice on all accounts.”

He added Sgt Nightingale’s family was “absolutely overjoyed that justice has prevailed”.

“The first goal for us was to get him out and back with his family and we’ve achieved that, thanks to all the support we’ve had from the general public,” Humphrey Nightingale said.

The appeal panel reduced the sentence after they acknowledged the offences were “committed in exceptional circumstances by an exceptional soldier”.

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