6:38pm Wednesday 9th January 2013
© Press Association 2013
Extradited Briton Christopher Tappin has been jailed for 33 months for arms dealing after a deal with US prosecutors was given the all-clear, a court spokeswoman said.
The 66-year-old pleaded guilty last year to one count of aiding and abetting the illegal export of defence articles under a so-called plea bargain secured last year.
US District Judge David Briones fined Tappin 11,357.14 US dollars (£7,095), in addition to the prison sentence, at a court hearing in El Paso, Texas.
Judge Briones recommended that the former president of the Kent Golf Union should be allowed to serve his sentence in the UK but the decision ultimately rests with the US Bureau of Prisons, a spokeswoman for the court added.
Tappin, from Orpington, Kent, will commence his sentence at the Allenwood prison in Pennsylvania and must turn himself in to start the term by March 8.
Tappin's wife Elaine, who suffers from chronic illness Churg-Strauss Syndrome, was unable to attend the court in Texas.
Following the sentencing, she said: "Now I can begin to see light at the end of this long dark tunnel - but remain frustrated that Chris' extradition was granted in the first place.
"Being returned to a US prison will be dreadful for him. He is learning to live with the regrets - it is a chastening experience after a 45-year unblemished business career."
"I'm hoping against hope that he'll have the mental fortitude to cope with whatever lies before him in the months and years to come."
The couple, who have been married for 38 years and have a son and daughter, are touched by the "tremendous support" received from friends and strangers, Mrs Tappin said.
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