Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

Man bought guns 'to kill himself'

Ramsay Scott
Ramsay Scott is due back at the High Court in Edinburgh in June

A judge has postponed sentencing a student who bought 20,000 worth of firearm parts over the internet after learning he intended to kill himself.

Ramsay Scott, of East Lothian, had previously claimed he had collected gun components because he enjoyed putting them together.

The judge ordered further reports and sentence was deferred until 9 June.

The 20-year-old earlier admitted breaches of the Firearms Act, which carry minimum five years in jail.

Solicitor advocate David Taylor, defending, told the High Court in Edinburgh then there was no "sinister" motive behind Scott's collection, which he bought using his mother's credit card.

But in later interviews with psychologists preparing pre-sentence background reports, Scott told a different story saying he had planned to kill himself if he failed his exams.

It now appears you have admitted - contrary to what was stated in August last year - your intention was to commit suicide
Lord Uist
High Court in Edinburgh

When Scott returned to court on Thursday Lord Uist told him: "This case is of great concern to me."

"It now appears you have admitted - contrary to what was stated in August last year - your intention was to commit suicide if you failed your exams using one of the pistols you had assembled."

The judge remanded Scott in custody until his next appearance at the High Court in Edinburgh.

An earlier hearing was told police staged a dawn raid on Scott's home in Longniddry.

Police found 1,400 "hits" on his computer relating to websites depicting "extreme violence" last August.

They also found two fully-assembled pistols, sub-machine gun parts and dum-dum bullets scattered about his bedroom floor.

He also had a collection of "Rambo-style" knives.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how a legitimate interest fostered at school and leading to representing Scotland in their under-19 shooting team became an obsession.

Asperger's Syndrome

Solicitor advocate David Taylor insisted that Scott's fascination with guns had no "sinister hue" and he was not supplying weapons to anyone else.

Advocate depute John Scullion, prosecuting, told how Scott, a student at Durham University until his arrest, had found a way of getting American suppliers to send him parts by using his mother's credit card and shipping companies as middle-men.

On 5 August customs officers at East Midlands Airport intercepted a package addressed to his mother that contained a barrel for a 9mm pistol.

They alerted Lothian and Borders Police and checks showed Scott had a licence for a bolt action rifle and silencer.

When they went to his home with a search warrant, Scott admitted that the firearms in his bedroom were not listed on his certificate.

Mr Taylor said a doctor who had examined Scott thought he might have Asperger's Syndrome.

The lawyer also said that Scott's mother knew he was using her credit card but thought his purchases were legitimate.

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