A former paratrooper has been given a 10-month sentence, suspended for two years, for handling stolen military goods and selling them on eBay.Ex-Parachute Regiment warrant officer Allan Peet, 46, of Bridgend, admitted handling more than £6,500 worth of military boots, day sacks, hydration systems and ration packs.
He was caught by a Ministry of Defence (MoD) anti-theft and fraud operation.The judge at Cardiff Crown Court described his behaviour as a disgrace.
The court heard that the equipment, taken from MoD stores at RAF St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan, should have been going to soldiers in the frontline but ended up in Peet's garage in Bridgend.
He sold the MoD goods to online enthusiasts, the court was told.
Prosecutor David Webster said: "The items involved are day sacks and military issue footwear. They are not available to members of the public.
End Quote Judge Rhys RowlandsIt beggars belief that you would take a risk and let down so many people who think so highly of you”
"They are sold exclusively by the Ministry of Defence and when they were noticed on eBay an investigation started."Mr Webster said the seller's ID on eBay was traced to Peet's home and his house and garage were searched.
The court was told boots and specialist military rucksacks were found.
Mr Webster said Peet told police he had bought the equipment at a car boot sale but admitted the items were probably stolen.
Judge Rhys Rowlands told him: "It was greed on your part."
He added: "The loss to the Ministry of Defence was in the region of £5,000.
"In this present climate one is aware the limited funds are needed to support those whose lives are on the line.
"It beggars belief that you would take a risk and let down so many people who think so highly of you."
Peet was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs and undertake 250 hours unpaid work.
The court heard Peet had a long and "distinguished" military career, serving in Iraq, Sierra Leone, Kosovo and Northern Ireland in a 23-year career.
Since leaving the Army in 2004, he had trained cadets at RAF St Athan and was a paid instructor at a military preparation college.
A spokesperson for the Military Preparation College said: "Mr Peet's conviction has triggered a formal disciplinary process in line with the college's code of conduct.
"The college is currently closed for the summer holiday and we will be seeking to complete the process before we reopen in September.
"The college expects the highest standards from all staff and will conduct this process accordingly."