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Freed sergeant takes kids to meet 'Santa'

  |   Dec. 25, 2012 at 1:25 PM
HEREFORD, England, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- A British Special Air Service sergeant who nearly spent Christmas behind bars, instead took his two young girls to Finland to meet Santa Claus.

Danny Nightingale, 37 -- who was jailed by a court-martial last month for keeping a 9mm Glock pistol and 338 rounds of ammo at his Hereford, England, quarters -- said he was able to take his wife, Sally, 38, and daughters Mara, 5, and Alys, 2, to the Santa Claus Village in Lapland, Finland, after his 18-month sentence was reduced to a suspended 12-month term, The Sun reported Tuesday.

Nightingale said the gun was a gift from Iraqi soldiers and he had forgotten about it due to a brain injury he sustained.

The sergeant said he was pleased to be able to do something special for his girls for Christmas.

"There was a time I thought I'd be spending Christmas alone in jail," he said. "I never imagined I'd be bringing my girls to meet Santa. After all that's happened over the past few weeks that was magical -- the kids' faces were priceless."

Topics: Santa Claus
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