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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 December 2005, 14:53 GMT
'Rambo soldier' had illegal arms
A soldier compared to the movie character "Rambo" was caught with an arsenal of illegal weapons as he boarded a ferry in Northern Ireland.

Private Garry McGeachie, 21, from Stranraer in Scotland admitted the charges after he was stopped at Belfast docks. He was fined 600.

The city's magistrates court heard he claimed the weapons were toys.

"What we have here is some sort of Rambo-type person," said magistrate Desmond Perry.

McGeachie pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing a Walther CP60 gas-operated pistol and two offensive weapons - an extendable baton and a Kubaton with a concealed stiletto blade.

The authorities were alerted when his baggage was going through an x-ray machine.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court: "He was asked if he was carrying any weapons and he said they were only a toy."

McGeachie told police he bought the weapons, along with a CO2 gas cannister and handcuffs, in an army surplus store for 120.

Senior officers

The defendant, of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, is stationed at Lisanelly Barracks, Omagh, in County Tyrone.

Defence solicitor Paul Colhoun said: "He clearly enjoys what he does for a profession and it is somewhat similar to a surgeon carrying his operating knives.

"There is a long tradition of soldiers feeling they are not effectively equipped by Her Majesty's government. Perhaps he has taken it a bit further by acquiring some items which are prohibited in Northern Ireland."

The magistrate was given references from senior officers.

Mr Perry told McGeachie: "You are a young man who is clearly highly thought of in the Army.

"But you should have known that you cannot carry this type of weaponry around with you and I am making a order for their destruction."

He said a prison sentence might result in McGeachie being dismissed from the Army and instead fined him.


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