Posts Tagged ‘UK minimum sentencing’

British grandmother jailed for unregistered firearm

June 22, 2010

This is wrong on so many levels.

A grandmother has been jailed for five years for possessing a “family heirloom” World War II pistol.

Gail Cochrane, 53, had kept the gun for 29 years following the death of her father, who had been in the Royal Navy.

Police found the weapon, a Browning self-loading pistol, during a search of her home in Dundee while looking for her son.

She admitted illegal possession of the firearm, an offence with a minimum five-year jail term under Scots law.

Cochrane told the High Court in Edinburgh that she had never contemplated she might be committing a crime by keeping the gun or that she might need to get a licence for the weapon.

She said: “I thought it was just a war trophy.”

Defence solicitor advocate Jack Brown argued that the circumstances surrounding the case were exceptional and that it would be “draconian, unjust and disproportionate” to jail the grandmother-of-six.

To begin with, this is the end result of ‘law and order’ legislation that imposes mandatory minimum sentences. Now this 53 year old woman is going to jail for the mandatory five years, apparently not because she was a danger to anyone, but because she had a “pistol at her home without a firearms certificate and possessing the prohibited weapon without the authority of the Secretary of State or Scottish ministers”. Five years in jail for not having a piece of paper.

With Canada’s Firearms Act, this could conceivably happen here given the right moment and the wrong people in power in Ottawa.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.