Horndean businessman must pay £24,700 over stolen SAS gear

Andrew Stevens
Andrew Stevens

BUSINESSMAN Andrew Stevens has been forced to sell his Range Rover and get a loan from his mum after he was told to pay back cash he made selling stolen SAS kit.

He was previously jailed for two years along with a stores sergeant while a junior soldier was let off prison.

Stevens, of Horndean, (pictured) was said to be ‘obsessed’ with the kit and was caught at Heathrow Airport on his way to Hong Kong when night vision goggles set off an X-ray scanner.

Stevens and the two soldiers – Craig Davenport and Stephen Suffield – swapped messages on a WhatsApp group called Boys Toys.

Now after being jailed last December Stevens, who is out on licence, was ordered to pay back £24.731.09.

At Portsmouth Crown Court judge Roger Hetherington told Stevens, 42, he must pay the cash in two months or face an extra year in jail.

Stevens, who ran the airsoft business Cracking Day Ltd, will have to sell his Range Rover and get a loan from his mum to pay back the money.

A court previously heard Ministry of Defence police arrested Stevens, uncovering £45,000 of kit at his business, Cracking Day Ltd, and his home in Southdown Road, Horndean.

Body armour, laser sights, night-vision goggles, silencers, distraction grenades, pyrotechnics and scopes were among the items at the addresses, the court heard.

The two then-serving soldiers would steal the kit ‘to order’ from Sterlin Lines Army Camp - the SAS base.

Stevens sold £28,500 worth of kit via two Paypal accounts to a contact in Japan. Some of the items were on the list classed as Attractive to Criminal and Terrorist Organisations.

‘The significance is obvious because our forces in dealing with a situation would not want to be confronted with the sort of equipment they themselves would use,’ prosecutor Adam Norris previously told a sentencing hearing.

Afghanistan and Iraq veteran Davenport, 30, was jailed for 22 months, while Suffield was given an 18-month suspended sentence.

All three men, who had no prior convictions, earlier admitted conspiring to steal from Stirling Lines Army Camp, in Hereford, between October 2014 and June 2015.

Nina Tavakoli, previously mitigating for Stevens, said: ‘He in essence was blinded by his obsession and fascination with collecting military items.’

The MoD had asked that Stevens be ordered to pay an extra £5,600 in compensation, but the judge refused to do so.