A young Angus gamekeeper’s future career hangs in the balance after an “immature” incident in which he left a shotgun under his bed before going out boozing with pals.
Keir Mudie then got in trouble with police over a late-night incident in Arbroath, holding his hands up to the firearms offence which he knew was a breach of the conditions on his shotgun certificate.
The 18-year-old was fined £500 and has forfeited the gun – worth several hundred pounds – after appearing for sentence at Forfar sheriff court.
Mudie, of Robert Lindsay Place, Arbroath previously pleaded guilty to failing to store the shotgun in a secured cabinet on October 9 last year, in contravention of the terms of the Firearms Act.
Depute fiscal Stewart Duncan told the court that shortly before midnight on the night of the offence, police dealt with Mudie in Arbroath’s Millgate in connection with another matter.
“While he was in custody he revealed that he had a shotgun certificate and that the gun was under his bed,” added the fiscal.
Officers were of the view that Mudie’s behaviour was influenced by alcohol, and when his bedroom was checked the shotgun was found.
The court heard that the teenager had himself voluntarily contacted the authorities and asked them to cancel his shotgun certificate.
Defence solicitor Lynne Sturrock said that a social work report clearly indicated that Mudie had not taken the offence lightly.
“He understands the seriousness of it and surrendered his certificate, but is still working as a gamekeeper,” she said.
“He carries out other tasks and his current employer is prepared to keep him on. He is described as a good worker.”
“He does wish me to apologise on his behalf, he was cleaning the firearm and instead of putting it away properly he has gone out with his friends and got heavily intoxicated,” added Ms Sturrock.
Sheriff Alison McKay told Mudie: “Any offence involving a firearm has to be a serious offence.
“There’s a reason why there are special conditions attached to holding a licence.
“This is your third conviction in relatively quick succession and it is a matter for you whether you want to continue that conduct or stay out of trouble.”
Mudie must pay the £500 fine at the rate of £200 per month.