Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 12:28 UK

Student jailed over internet guns


Student bought gun parts

A student found with 200 weapon parts in his East Lothian home has been jailed for almost four years.

Ramsay Scott, 21, bought £20,000 worth of gun components on the internet using his mother's credit card.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how the former public schoolboy was interested in extreme violence and had trawled websites linked to massacres.

Scott, who was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail, earlier admitted breaches of the Firearms Act.

Passing sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Uist said: "It is probably impossible to say what, if anything, you would have done with the weapons had the police not intervened.

"But there must have been at least the possibility you would have used them to cause injury to others - particularly in view of the websites you had accessed on your computer dealing with extreme violence and shooting massacres at Hungerford and Dunblane."

There were a number of firearms, component parts for firearms and ammunition scattered around the floor on open view
John Scullion
Advocate depute

The court heard that Scott claimed his only interest had been in solving the mechanical problems involved in assembling the weapons from the parts he bought - using an elaborate scam to avoid import restrictions.

But later the bio-medical sciences student admitted he planned to shoot himself if he failed his exams at Durham University.

By the time police staged a dawn raid on his home in Longniddry, Scott had 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.

First offender Scott had faced the possibility of a sentence which would keep him under strict supervision for the rest of his life.

But Lord Uist said because background reports assessed Scott as only a "medium" risk to the public he could not impose such a sentence.

The court heard that the doctor who examined him also concluded that he was suffering from either Asperger's syndrome or a schizoid personality disorder and found dealing with people difficult.

Gun recovered from Ramsay Scott's home
Police recovered a number of assembled pistols and gun parts

Scott initially had a legitimate interest in shooting, fostered at his public school, which led to him representing Scotland in the under-19 shooting team.

His father also took him to ranges for shooting exercises and his mother backed his hobby, although had some reservations.

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

On 5 August last year customs officers at East Midlands Airport intercepted a package addressed to his mother which 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 darkened bedroom where the curtains were pegged shut, were not listed on his certificate.

"There were a number of firearms, component parts for firearms and ammunition scattered around the floor on open view," Mr Scullion said.


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He went on to list a Glock 9mm pistol, a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, barrels for use with Heckler and Koch sub machine guns, other weapons parts and more than 40 "copper hollow point bullets."

Mr Scullion said the dining room had been used to make rifle and shotgun cartridges.

In his bedroom Scott also had a "fist dagger", a hunting knife, commando knives, two flick knives and a "hooked slashing knife."

When police asked Scott if either of the handguns had been fired he said he had only tested them with blanks.

Scott pleaded guilty to eight charges, some of which carry a minimum sentence of five years for adult offenders. But because he was under 21 at the time the minimum sentence was three years.

Defence QC Ian Duguid said Scott had been regarded as "eccentric" at school.

"He may be capable of causing serious harm but it seems very unlikely that he will," the lawyer said.

"There was never any indication in this case that plans were afoot to use these weapons.

"There was no indication that the weapons were being assembled for a sinister purpose."

Mr Duguid added that Scott realised he would never again be allowed access to firearms and accepted this.

"He is determined to put this matter behind him," he said.

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