Midlothian man jailed for hiding four guns and 40 bladed weapons in secret basement 'panic room'

A man who illegally imported handguns from Spain into Scotland has been jailed for three years and ten months.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 5:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 6:52 pm

Douglas Urquhart was arrested after a raid on his home in the village of Loanhead in May this year.

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It comes following an investigation by the joint National Crime Agency and Police Scotland Organised Crime Partnership.

Douglas Urquhart.

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Panic Room

The guns, front-venting blank firers which are illegal in the UK, were all found in a ‘panic room’ hidden in the basement.

The room had an electromagnetic lock controlled by PIN entry keypad, and contained tinned food, bottled water, a safe and a CCTV system which allowed sight of outside.

Weapons including throwing stars, knives and machetes were also found throughout the house.

The guns, front-venting blank firers which are illegal in the UK, were all found in a panic room hidden in the basement.

He was sentences at the High Court in Glasgow on Tuesday after pleading guilty last month to firearms offences.

Urquhart, a joiner who described himself as a weapons and martial arts enthusiast, had previously applied to Police Scotland for a gun licence but had been refused.

Detective Inspector Tom Gillan, of the Organised Crime Partnership (Scotland), said: “Our operations and investigations have now recovered over 40 firearms across Scotland since 2018 and we will continue in our efforts to take dangerous weapons off our streets.

“Targeting those who attempt to jeopardise the safety of our communities will continue to be a top priority for the OCP, supported by local divisions.”

NCA operations manager John McGowan said: “Urquhart had ordered these weapons online and imported them from Spain and, while they could only fire blanks in the state they were in, they are illegal in the UK because they can easily be converted to fire real ammunition.

“Tackling the illegal supply of firearms is a priority for the NCA, and we are determined to do all we can with our partners in Scotland and abroad to protect the public by doing just that.”