Drug dealer jailed after BB gun found in mum’s house

Sentencing took place at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Sentencing took place at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

A drugs dealer has been jailed for nine months for being in possession of a gas powered BB gun and a quantity of ball bearings.

George “Dode” Buchanan was found guilty of the charge on March 23 this year after a three day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The jury heard that Buchanan, who has served sentences for attempted murder and drug offences, was arrested on November 24, 2016, on a warrant involving drugs.

He was taken to his mother’s home in the Craigmillar area of the city where a search was carried out. Police found the gun, a replica of a 9 mm Sig Sauer automatic pistol and a large quantity of ball bearings.

Buchanan told the police the gun was his, but at his trial, said it was his brother’s. He claimed he only said the gun was his to avoid upset to his elderly mother, who was in ill health and has since died. Ian Buchanan, giving evidence, said the gun was his and he used it to shoot rats and pigeons.

In 1968, the Firearms Act made it an offence for anyone, who had served a jail sentence of three years or more, to be in possession of a firearm and ammunition. In April 2011, Buchanan was jailed for five years and five months on drugs offences. He was liberated in December 2013.

At the trial, Buchanan claimed he had never signed any papers in connection with the Act. At the hearing today (April 20) his defence solicitor, Nigel Beaumont, told Sheriff Alistair Noble, it was the practice the document should be signed on a prisoner’s admission.

Buchanan, he said, was never given the document to sign on his admission, but was given “a large pile of documents to sign” on his release. The gun, he added, was of very low calibre, low power, not particularly capable of causing any harm. “He simply purchased it for recreational shooting”.

Mr Beaumont said Buchanan had no court matters outstanding and suggested the matter could be settled by a Community Payback Order or a Restriction of Liberty Order.

Sheriff Noble told Buchanan that cases of this nature were relatively rare and given his extensive criminal record he had given no particular reason for his possession of the items. He sentenced him to nine months imprisonment.