Royal ammunition for hotelier to the stars



A HOTELIER to the stars who was caught with a cache of illegal ammunition yesterday claimed it had been secretly stockpiled by a Middle Eastern prince.

James McFarlane was discovered with more than 700 rounds of dumdum bullets after a violent run-in with his mistress.

But Perth Sheriff Court was yesterday told the ammunition - which expands on impact - had been left in a cabinet by a member of Qatar's ruling family.

McFarlane - whose guests have included Kate Moss, Jude Law and Liam Neeson - insists the bullets had been left at his mansion by his landlord, Prince Abdul Aziz al-Thani.

The ammunition came to light after married McFarlane, 51, rammed his Land Rover into his love rival's Nissan car.

Solicitor Jamie Morris, defending, told the court that McFarlane "saw the red mist" when he discovered his mistress was seeing another man behind his back. He told the court his client left 33-year-old Rachel Morrison's Perth flat and discovered her sitting in a car with David Riley, her second lover.

Vicki Bell, the fiscal depute, said: "An argument developed between all three parties. The accused stormed off and jumped into his Land Rover. [McFarlane] then deliberately drove his Land Rover towards Mr Riley's car. Miss Morrison was still seated within the car. She was badly shaken."

Tayside Police officers were called and went to McFarlane's home at Newmiln House in Guildtown, Perthshire, to carry out a search. They discovered two legally-owned shotguns, but opened a second locked cabinet and found the huge haul of prohibited ammunition on the site - which was formerly used as an upmarket hotel.

Miss Bell said: "His home is described as an isolated mansion on a large sporting estate. He said the ammunition belonged to his employer, Prince al-Thani.

Mr Morris said his client had not properly checked the gun cabinets. He claimed the prince had stockpiled the bullets during his last trip to Scotland in 2002 and had simply left them behind.

Mr Morris said: "The second cabinet is one he does not use and the ammunition was discovered in it. In effect it is not his.

"His landlord is a foreign national and visitor on an occasional basis. As far as we can determine, he is the person who purchased the ammunition.

"My client should have been more diligent. He should have discovered [the ammunition] and taken steps to remove it. There was a significant element of surprise that the discovery was made."

Mr Morris told the court the original incident was committed "in the heat of the moment" and he had resumed friendly relations with Miss Morrison.

McFarlane admitted maliciously damaging the car by driving into it on 12 September last year.

He admitted having 561 CCL .22 bullets, which are designed to expand on impact, at his home when it was raided the following day. He also admitted having 75 Remington .243 bullets and 84 Mantel .764 bullets without the authority of Scottish ministers.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said: "Anyone who gets behind the wheel and acts in the way you did has forfeited the right for a period to be licensed to drive.

He said McFarlane had "accepted you maliciously damaged a vehicle by driving into it". Sheriff Foulis said this was "a crime of intent", and banned McFarlane from the roads for nine months.

He also fined McFarlane £800 for the driving offence and a further £400 in relation to the ammunition.

Miss Morrison, who split from her own husband in November 2005, previously attended court with McFarlane, who now describes himself as a farmer.

The McFarlanes are involved in an ongoing international legal dispute with members of the Qatari ruling family, who own Newmiln Estate.

Prince Abdul Aziz al-Thani has gone to the Court of Session to try and remove the McFarlanes from the estate. It is claimed the McFarlanes failed to pay the annual rent of £40,000 to live in the exclusive hotel since selling it to the prince in 1999 for £2.3 million.

Newmiln Estate, which has also hosted John Hurt, Rhys Ifans, Ian Botham and Paul Gascoigne, borders the Scone Palace estate. Guests, who paid £2,550 for a three-day break, were welcomed by a piper and could enjoy activities including fishing and shooting.
What is it with gun 'n ammo at the moment.
.764?? Fcuk me, what the hell was he going to shoot with that?
H-Mantel projectile

The famous H-groove is the special feature of this projectile, forming a groove in the middle of the jacket to act as specific breaking point. It supports the separation of the two projectile cores with different hardness and is partly responsible for the dual effective system of the projectile: The front section breaks up rapidly after hitting the game, producing strong fragmentation and energy output. The cylindrical tail section separates from the H-groove, passes through the body, including any bones, even with heavy game, and provides the required exit hole.


* Limited fragmentation due to H-shaped groove
* The tail section is only deformed slightly in diameter and therefore ensures an exit hole
* Minimum game destruction
* Rapid game death through shock

1. Tail core
2. H-shaped groove
3. Tip core
4. Hollow copper point
5. Tombak-plated steel jacket
Clearly it means 7.64mm

For a Qatar Prince the Special edition rounds would be the obvious choice:

Gold plated bullets in engraved platinum cartridges, handloaded and supplied to order in a box of 30.

I kid you not:

Coming back to the case in point certainly he should have his certificate revoked for being a violent idiot but should he be fined for ammunition belonging to his patron that was locked away such that he didn't have possession of it? Not so clear.

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