Man’s boyhood air rifle forfeited after police raid at Foula home

A Foula man was fined £300 at Lerwick Sheriff Court after he admitted having an air rifle without the required certificate.

Kevin Gear, 49, of the isle’s Veedal pleaded guilty to the offence, which happened on 15th February, when he appeared in the dock.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said police carried out a search at Gear’s address after “acting on intelligence”. The air weapon was recovered. Mr MacKenzie moved for forfeiture.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said the air gun was one Gear had owned since he was 12. It had been given to him by a relative, who was a special constable.

“That was a time when air weapons were quite widely used by young boys,” Mr Allan said.

He added Gear had not got round to getting a licence at the time of the offence. Subsequent attempts to secure one had, through no fault of Gear’s, failed to prove fruitful.

Mr Allan added Gear had incurred a lot of expense since the issue had come to light – not least because police caused extensive damage to his door when they entered his address.

The defence agent said the air gun was “not a particularly good air rifle”, adding it had suffered from woodworm.

“But it’s of some family significance,” he said.

Mr Allan asked if the gun could be signed over to Gear’s father, who holds a licence for air weapons, rather than have the weapon forfeited.

However, Mr MacKenzie said he was unsure what the terms of Mr Gear senior’s licence were.

“It would be difficult to sign over something which he [Gear] couldn’t lawfully hold.”

Sheriff Mann fined Gear £300, and ordered forfeiture of the rifle.


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