Ciaran Maxwell likely to lose his taxpayer-funded pension (From This is The West Country)

A ROYAL Marine who smuggled weapons and ammunition out of a military base is set to lose his State-funded pension.

Ciaran Maxwell, 31, previously based with 40 Commando at Norton Manor Camp, was jailed for 18 years last week for preparing terrorist acts.

He stashed an arsenal of anti-personnel mines, mortars, ammo and pipe bombs – four of which were later used – as he planned a deadly campaign targeting military bases, Unionists and police officers.

There was outrage when it emerged he is still eligible to draw an Armed Forces pension of thousands of pounds a year and a £5,000 lump sum.

Defence ministers have now told civil servants to find a way of blocking the payments.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “We are reviewing the implications of the verdict, including for any future pension entitlement.”

Maxwell smuggled some of his deadly haul from his home in Exminster, Devon, to Northern Ireland, hiding it in 43 woodland locations in the province and in England.

Former Defence Minister Sir Gerald Howarth told The Standard people would be “scandalised” if a terrorist was able to live off a taxpayer-funded nest egg.

He added: “I believe this man was guilty of promoting premeditated destruction of life.

“He used his position in the Royal Marines to promote actions that would have killed and maimed innocent people.

“The public would be scandalised if he was to receive a penny more from public funds.”

As well as previously pleading guilty to the preparation of terrorist acts between January 2011 and August last year, Maxwell also admitted possessing images of bank cards for the purpose of fraud and possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

He was sentenced at The Old Bailey last week, when Mr Justice Sweeney told him: “I’m sure that you were and will remain motivated by dissident sympathies and a hostility to the UK.”

He was caught after members of the public stumbled across his weapons cache by chance and DNA evidence led police to Maxwell, who was on the national database due to his involvement in an unrelated assault case.

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