A grandmother has been jailed for five years for possessing a “family heirloom” World War II pistol.
Gail Cochrane, 53, had kept the gun for 29 years following the death of her father, who had been in the Royal Navy.
Police found the weapon, a Browning self-loading pistol, during a search of her home in Dundee while looking for her son.
She admitted illegal possession of the firearm, an offence with a minimum five-year jail term under Scots law.
Cochrane told the High Court in Edinburgh that she had never contemplated she might be committing a crime by keeping the gun or that she might need to get a licence for the weapon.
She said: “I thought it was just a war trophy.”
The judge is a woman, and women often don’t like guns in the home:
However, Judge Lady Smith said: “I am not satisfied that a reasonable explanation has been put forward for not handing this gun into the authorities throughout the 29-year period she says she has had it in her possession.”
The judge said she was unable to find herself satisfied that this was one of the rare cases in which exceptional circumstances existed.
She said: “The result is I have no alternative but to sentence Mrs Cochrane to a period of five years.”
[...]When interviewed, Cochrane told police that the gun had previously belonged to her father and that she had kept it when he died.
She said she believed it was a real gun, but had no ammunition for it.
Scotland is the part of the UK that is most solidly owned by the Liberal Democrat party, which is further to the left than the Labor party.
She’s an innocent law-abiding citizen, but she has to be made an example, I guess.