Soldiers who made £22,000 stealing SAS kit told to pay back £552

TWO soldiers who stole SAS military kit '˜to order' for an airsoft company owner made £22,000 '“ but have been ordered to pay back just £552.

Sunday, 2nd July 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:34 am
Craig Davenport
Craig Davenport

Former soldiers Craig Davenport and Stephen Suffield stole silencers, night vision goggles and laser sights for Horndean businessman Andrew Stevens.

They were sentenced last December but now Davenport, 30, and Suffield, 29, have appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court for confiscation proceedings.

In the brief hearing on Friday, judge Roger Hetherington said Davenport had made £19,903.

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Stephen Suffield

The judge ordered Davenport to pay back just £552.04 as those are all the assets he has available.

If Davenport, who appeared in court via videolink from prison, does not pay he will have to serve 14 days in jail.

Suffield was ruled to have benefited by £2,500 but has no assets so was not ordered to pay any cash back. He had already been told to pay back £2,500 compensation.

As reported, the trio swapped thousands of messages between them on a WhatsApp group they called Boys Toys, posting photos of the kit that was being taken.

Andrew Stevens

In December Davenport, of Beltony Drive, Crewe, was jailed for 22 months, while Suffield, 29, of Drakes Broughton, Pershore, Worcestershire, was given an 18-month suspended sentence with 200 hours of unpaid work. Stevens, 42, of Southdown Road, Horndean, was jailed for two years.

At the sentencing hearing the court heard the theft ring unravelled when Stevens was stopped in Heathrow Airport on his way to Hong Kong.

A radioactive signature in night vision goggles in his luggage sparked a security alert, the court heard.

Stevens had sold £28,500 worth of kit, including around £11,000 to a contact in Japan, via two Paypal account, the court heard.

Stephen Suffield

All three defendants had admitted conspiracy to steal from Stirling Lines Army Camp, Hereford, between October 2014 and June 2015, at earlier court hearings.

After the hearing on Friday a Ministry of Defence Police spokesman said: ‘Ministry of Defence Police policy is always to recover, wherever possible, any proceeds of crime and stolen public funds and we employ specialist financial investigators for just this purpose.’

The court previously heard Stevens had ‘was blinded by his obsession and fascination with collecting military items’ and ran the airsoft firm Cracking Day Limited.

Andrew Stevens