Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Ex-soldier jailed over ammunition in garage

A former soldier has been jailed for 14 months after he admitted having military grade ammunition in his garage in Edinburgh.

Steven Brunton, 41, had pleaded guilty previously to being in possession of the bulllets without a firearms certificate on 15 December last year.

A former friend had tipped off the police after the pair fell out.

A search led to the discovery of 17 rounds of 9mm ammo designed for submachine guns, pistols and carbines.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court Sheriff Peter Braid was told Brunton had been a lance-corporal in the Royal Engineers and in 2001 was acting as an escort for two soldiers at a court martial when one of the men told him he had live ammo and asked him to take it away as he was in enough trouble as it was.

Post traumatic stress

Defence solicitor, Hannah Short, said it was the ethos of the Army for everyone to support each other.

Brunton, she added, had intended handing the ammo in to the armoury, but had ended up taking it with him when he left the service.

Since then it had been in a locked box in his garage and he had forgotten about it.

Sheriff Braid said if Brunton had forgotten about the ammo, why had he told a friend he had it.

Ms Short said her client suffered from post traumatic stress and depression.

This had led to substance abuse, although he was now on a methodone prescription. Brunton's last previous conviction in 2014, she said, was related to substance abuse.

Sheriff Braid told Brunton that it had been a significant amount of ammunition.

The public, he added, would expect a custodial sentence as a punishment and deterrent. That sentence would have been 18 months, but it was reduced to 14 because of his early plea of guilty.

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