Tayside and Central Scotland

Man who kept gun and ammunition in work locker jailed

A Dundee gun enthusiast has been jailed for five years for storing an illegal weapon in his work locker.

A Smith and Wesson pistol and ammunition were found in Paul Markie's locker in Dundee last April.

Markie, 55, told police he was holding the items for farmer David Evans, who he knew through their shared interest in guns.

He was caught after he left legitimate gun parts on a train when he was travelling to meet another collector.

Evans is currently serving 16 years in jail after being caught with weapons including Uzis and a Kalashnikov following a raid by West Midlands police.

A court heard that Markie travelled from Dundee to Inverness in April 2015, but got off after he realised he was on the wrong train, leaving his holdall behind.

'Dangerous ammunition'

The bag, which contained parts of a deactivated gun, was eventually found by rail staff, who called police.

When officers raided his works locker they found a fully operational Smith and Wesson pistol and ammunition.

Another 500 bullets were found in a burn by a dog walker.

The High Court in Livingston heard Markie traded in "obsolete, antique and deactivated" firearms and parts with contacts he met via the web, magazines and at gun shows.

Ronnie Renucci QC, defending, said Markie had been involved with a legitimate hobby but, after he left the bag of gun parts on a train, he had panicked.

Judge Lord Burns told Markie he had pleaded guilty to a very serious offence.

He said: "It is, I have to say, tragic that you find yourself before the High Court facing a prison sentence at the age of 55 for the only time in your life.

"What possessed you to take these catastrophic decisions I can't imagine.

"You took these weapons and failed to report them to police and you kept them for five years.

"Further, you endangered members of the public by dumping dangerous ammunition into a burn."

He sentenced Markie to the minimum five years in prison for five firearms offences.

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