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Advocate General fined for shotgun offence
Lord Keen of Elie QC, who as Scotland's Advocate General avised the UK Government on Scots law matters, was yesterday fined £1,000 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court for a Firearms Act offence.
Lord Keen pleaded guilty by letter to a charge of failing to secure a shotgun kept at his Edinburgh home. The court was told that on 31 December 2016, police investigating a break-in there found that a 12-bore shotgun had been left outside a secure cabinet while the peer and his wife were on holiday.
Solicitor advocate Simon Catto, representing Lord Keen, said he had been out shooting on 27 December. On returning home he had taken the gun to the basement intending to clean it, but had then "forgotten about it through his own carelessness" before leaving on holiday the next day.
He added that Lord Keen had been a shotgun enthusiast for 25 years and was fully aware of what was expected and required of him in terms of the certificate. He accepted that on this occasion he fell below that.
Imposing the fine, Sheriff Frank Crowe said he took into account Lord Keen’s previous good record and the fact that he admitted his guilt at the outset. "Nevertheless to hold a firearms certificate is a privilege and there are very strict conditions which have to be adhered to to prevent such weapons falling into the wrong hands. There was a potential risk with the shotgun not in the secure cabinet as laid down by the regulations."