England

Ex-paratrooper stole medals from comrades and weapons

Simon Rogers
Image caption Simon Rogers had an arsenal of weapons at his home

An arsenal of stolen weapons was found at the home of a former paratrooper by police investigating Army campaign medal thefts, a court has heard.

Simon Rogers, 29, of Northamptonshire, admitted stealing medals from comrades fighting in Afghanistan and possessing weapons including hand-fired rockets.

Rogers took four medals awarded for service in Iraq and Afghanistan and sold them on the internet.

He was in barracks after a suspected heart attack at the time of the thefts.

Judge Richard Bray adjourned sentencing at Northampton Crown Court for reports and released Rogers on bail.

Explosive detonators

The Ministry of Defence discovered the thefts and was able to return the medals to their owners.

When military police raided Rogers' home in Main Street, Apethorpe, in August last year they found he had also taken hundreds of items of military equipment.

John Lloyd-Jones, prosecuting, said: "As well as body armour, fuses, hand-fired rockets and battle noise simulators, they also discovered live ammunition and explosive detonators."

Steel boxes filled with 40 electric detonators, 99 safety fuse igniters and 41 rounds of live ammunition were found stored in a shed, the court was told.

Rogers, who was at 2 Para's Meeanee barracks in Colchester, Essex, at the time of the thefts, pleaded guilty to stealing four operational service medals and possessing ammunition and explosives.

He claimed he found the medals in a skip.

Judge Richard Bray said the theft of military equipment was serious, adding: "You cannot have people leave the Army with these sorts of items because it is plainly dangerous."

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