John Tomney jailed for shooting Ian Longford dead
A man who accidentally killed his best friend by shooting him with a handgun has been jailed for eight years.
John Tomney was found guilty of the culpable homicide of 32-year-old Ian Longford at his home in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, on 28 April this year.
The High Court in Glasgow heard how Tomney picked up the illegal handgun, which went off - shooting Mr Longford in the side.
The bullet penetrated his heart and he died from massive blood loss.
During his trial, Tomney admitted picking up the gun and shooting his friend, but claimed it was a tragic accident.
The Crown accepted that he had not meant to harm his friend, but said his action in picking up the gun and pulling the trigger was reckless.
The court heard that there were two illegal handguns and 100 bullets in the house on the night Mr Longford was killed.
Tomney, Mr Langford and another friend, Kevin Mooney, were there drinking alcohol.
At one point Tomney picked up a Glock pistol, a weapon which has no safety catch, and pulled the trigger.
His friend fell to the ground fatally injured and Tomney collected up the two guns and ammunition and dumped them in a nearby back garden.
The jury was told that it took five pounds of pressure to pull the trigger.
In the immediate aftermath Tomney lied to both ambulance men and police, claiming that Mr Langford had just arrived at his home and that he believed his friend had been stabbed.
Tomney was also convicted of a series of firearms offences.
Jailing him, temporary judge Rita Rae QC told Tomney: "You shot and killed your friend when you were handling an illegal weapon, a handgun.
"It is accepted by the Crown that you did not intend to kill him."
Lady Rae added that other guns and ammunition had been found in the house.
She continued: "Such weapons and ammunition should not be in the hands of people like you. If they had not been there your friend would still be alive."