Arms dealer’s appeal fails

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AN ex-Royal Marine who tried to sell hi-tech telescopic rifle sights to Iran has failed to convince top judges he was too harshly punished.

Andrew Faulkner’s judgment was “clouded by grief” following the death of his son Jack (17) when he agreed to dispatch the scopes on behalf of an Italian arms dealer in return for £10,000, London’s Appeal Court heard.

The 42-year-old was jailed for two-and-a-half years at Southwark Crown Court last October after admitting being knowingly concerned in the export of controlled goods.

He was back in court on Tuesday, with his lawyers arguing his jail term was “too long”. But his challenge was dismissed by judges, who ruled the sentence was “not excessive” for a crime which could have seen potentially “lethal” equipment delivered to a “notoriously unstable” part of the world.

The court heard Faulkner, who lived in Sutton St James at the time of the offence, worked as a security consultant and sold military equipment after he left the Royal Marines.

His lawyers argued it was grief over his son’s death that allowed Faulkner – now of Newton, Wisbech – to be “prevailed upon” to dispatch the goods by a man he had no reason to suspect was involved in criminal activity.

But describing the sentence as “not excessive”, Mrs Justice Dobbs, sitting with Lord Justice Thomas and Judge David Radford QC, said this week: “Whilst it is correct to say the sights themselves weren’t dangerous, they clearly came into the category of weapons capable of causing multiple deaths.

“It had to be assumed they would end up with insurgents but, whoever was to be the recipient, it was the part of the world they were going to which was significant and the defendant was well aware of their destination.”