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Ex-TA soldier who hid gun escapes a prison sentence

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#1
A CIVIL servant who was caught with an illegal revolver after a fire broke out at his home walked free from court yesterday.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that gun collector Geoffrey Hutton, 57, had failed to hand the weapon into police after new legislation was introduced in the wake of the Dunblane tragedy.

His defence counsel Paul McBride QC argued successfully that the former Territorial Army firearms expert, who has citations for saving lives, should not be sent to prison.

Judge Lord Brailsford ordered Hutton, of Minard, Argyll, to perform 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Lord Brailsford said that in his view there were exceptional circumstances in this case, which allowed him not to impose the normal minimum five-year jail sentence.

He told Hutton: "Clearly you have committed an offence in circumstances which were naive - and for a man of your position, frankly stupid.

"You now appreciate the stupidity of your actions. You should have organised the disposal of this gun."

Lord Brailsford added: "You are a man of exemplary character. You have throughout your life been engaged in the TA with guns and are aware of the risks and have performed great public service."

The court heard that Hutton had over 60 weapons, all legally held, in his former home at Lochgilphead, Argyll.

But police found the one unlicenced weapon in his collection, a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver in a cupboard following the fire.

Hutton told officers: "It's the one I shouldn't have."

Former soldier Hutton, who is a civil engineer with the Forestry Commission, admitted possessing the prohibited weapon which was found on 4 December, 2005.

Mr McBride said: "Mr Hutton has an otherwise impeccable record.

He accepts that this gun was not handed in. It was a gift from his wife and had sentimental value to him.

"He joined the TA as a young man, won medals from shooting at Bisley and was the only qualified range officer in the TA."

Mr Kearney told how fireman who were called to Hutton's house to put out a blaze in the kitchen contacted police when they found a rifle in his bedroom.
http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=749832007

Silly man.
 
#6
Well, you don't get to legally hold 60 firearms if there's a sniff of walt around you.

As the beak said,
"You are a man of exemplary character. You have throughout your life been engaged in the TA with guns and are aware of the risks and have performed great public service."
It seems justice has been done, and the man punished accordingly.
 
#7
What a ridiculous state of affairs.
A gun collector with over 60 legally held guns and who has citations for saving lives and who is 57 years old and a former Territorial Army firearms expert, He had one .38 Smith & Wesson revolver that he didn't want destroyed.... amd he was facing a minimum FIVE years in prison?!
Now he has to do 200 hours unpaid community service and has a criminal record to boot! How mortifying.
How did this case ever get brought against him?!! Why why why!!!
I could understand it if this country was running smoothly and crime was virually non existant...then maybe the police could create work and cases through pettyness...but I'm a good honest upstanding citizen and I don't have the slightest problem with this man in this circumstances having this weapon...I am ashamed and disgusted that my country has labelled him a criminal. Shame on the courts and the copper that didn't use any common sense or discretion and didn't just tell him to make sure it stayed in the safe.
This country just makes criminals of decent folk
The judge said-
"You are a man of exemplary character. You have throughout your life been engaged in the TA with guns and are aware of the risks and have performed great public service."
So here's a criminal record, and 200 hours spent with pieces of shit on community service.
The judge is a twat
 
#10
I'm not sure if this flexing of the 5 years min rule is necessarily a good thing. It sends mixed messages.

Although it is personally pleasing to see the beak acknowledging that this was an error of judgement and issuing a relevant punishment, I wonder how much this is driven by prison shortages, and not a desire to be proportionate?
 
#11
me n bee said:
Bottom line he should not have had it - a drunk in charge conviction would not have been so lenient I think...
I suspect there's rather more judges been guilty of drink driving than firearms experts!
The gun wasn't being waved around in the street for fucks sake- it was in a cupboard and only discovered when the fucking place burned out!
The guy should be given 200 hours of help from the local community with getting his home sorted after the house fire ..not made a criminal like this. This country is insane.

(Come the revolution we'll be needing these weapons anyway) :D
 
#12
Sparky - the law is the law and he knows that! Where do you draw the line? Do we allow rapists a level of leniancy because they may have provided a public service 20 years ago? The fact that he was licenced to hold a veritable armoury in his house is neither here nor there. He knew the rules (sic Law) and he knew he was breaking the rules ergo he has been (is being) punished. I suspect that if he was a 20 year old Jobless immigrant type bloke then you would be in favour of dishing out the maximum sentence allowable. How can the same judge sentence another individual to a greater or heavier tarriff with any degree of impartiality and remain unchallenged in precedence?
 
#13
qman said:
Sparky - the law is the law and he knows that! Where do you draw the line? Do we allow rapists a level of leniancy because they may have provided a public service 20 years ago? The fact that he was licenced to hold a veritable armoury in his house is neither here nor there. He knew the rules (sic Law) and he knew he was breaking the rules ergo he has been (is being) punished. I suspect that if he was a 20 year old Jobless immigrant type bloke then you would be in favour of dishing out the maximum sentence allowable. How can the same judge sentence another individual to a greater or heavier tarriff with any degree of impartiality and remain unchallenged in precedence?
How about intent, character, previous form and such like things?

I mean if a judge can let of a convicted junkie who is caught with a large amount of illegal drugs in his possesion because said junkie was "getting help"* with his problem and then turn round and jail someone else for exactly the same crime with no problems then there shouldn't be a probem here either.


*See Pete Doherty et al
 
#14
This is the bloke who had a decativated S&W .38 as part of his collection, then got hold of a live weapon. Swapped bits out so that he ended up with a live one had the serial number of a deactivated.

His brief claimed "exceptional circumstances". Anybody know what those were?
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#15
The underlying lunacy of this is that he was considered a 'fit and proper' person to hold 60 firearms legally, but that the law considers that it cannot be safe for him to own a handgun which, I suspect, would be capable of doing much less damage than the great majority of his collection. He was a fool to hang on to this revolver but it isn't as if he was robbing post offices or anything like it.
 
#16
Steven said:
qman said:
Sparky - the law is the law and he knows that! Where do you draw the line? Do we allow rapists a level of leniancy because they may have provided a public service 20 years ago? The fact that he was licenced to hold a veritable armoury in his house is neither here nor there. He knew the rules (sic Law) and he knew he was breaking the rules ergo he has been (is being) punished. I suspect that if he was a 20 year old Jobless immigrant type bloke then you would be in favour of dishing out the maximum sentence allowable. How can the same judge sentence another individual to a greater or heavier tarriff with any degree of impartiality and remain unchallenged in precedence?
How about intent, character, previous form and such like things?

I mean if a judge can let of a convicted junkie who is caught with a large amount of illegal drugs in his possesion because said junkie was "getting help"* with his problem and then turn round and jail someone else for exactly the same crime with no problems then there shouldn't be a probem here either.


*See Pete Doherty et al
If I was caught with an AK47 under my burnt out bed would the Judge show me leniancy because I said I had no intent to use it and I have no previous.....I fecking doubt it! The fact remains - he has broken the law.
 
#17
Blogg said:
This is the bloke who had a decativated S&W .38 as part of his collection, then got hold of a live weapon. Swapped bits out so that he ended up with a live one had the serial number of a deactivated.

His brief claimed "exceptional circumstances". Anybody know what those were?

Really? Sounds like there is a bit more to this than meets the eye. Overall, he was daft to be 'caught' with his pants down.

Totally agree with you cpunk. It's 'fashionable' to hate anyone who has anything to do with pistols due to the falling plates comp in Dunblane but your average joe isn't aware or interested in 99% of other small arms that can do a shit load more damage than a soggy pistol rnd. Just wait until someone does another 'Michael Ryan' with an assault rifle. :roll:



sparkylass said:
me n bee said:
Bottom line he should not have had it - a drunk in charge conviction would not have been so lenient I think...
I suspect there's rather more judges been guilty of drink driving than firearms experts!
The gun wasn't being waved around in the street for fucks sake- it was in a cupboard and only discovered when the fucking place burned out!
The guy should be given 200 hours of help from the local community with getting his home sorted after the house fire ..not made a criminal like this. This country is insane.

(Come the revolution we'll be needing these weapons anyway) :D
Blondebint, are you suggesting that we flex the law just because this chap was an ex squaddie?

Come the revolution, there will be a queue to use you as a fig 11. :D
 
#19
Who is being asinine, Khyros? The judge for not imposing a maximum sentence or the TA dude for not getting rid of an illegal firearm?
 
#20
The_Lord_Flasheart_VI said:
are you suggesting that we flex the law just because this chap was an ex squaddie?
I think what I'm suggesting is that we see a return of common sense and discretion to this nation.
Ok the firemen were met with 60 weapons and called the local plod to check things were legal. That's fine. When Plod saw that there was correct paperwork for the 60 weapons ...assuming the bloke didn't fail the attitude test and had just the one naughty weapon...in the past plod would have probably tut tutted and I suspect the weapon would either of been taken away and disposed of quietly..or he would have been told he was a naughty boy and warned to keep it in the safe in future.
Now we have modern coppers, many with little common sense, a significant number who are oblivious to true British culture, and with too much of a target mentality and completely handicapped by having no discretion yet ridiculously misdirected targets...so we end up with a decent man labelled a criminal.
I'm just wanting common sense and discretion back that's all.
 

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