Schoolboy admits to shotgun offences

A YOUTH looked down the barrels of a loaded shotgun and saw a drunk schoolboy with his finger on the trigger, a court has heard.

Jonathan Cameron, 16, had been confronted by the 15-year-old but managed to talk him into removing the weapon's cartridges. Then, he and a friend made a dive for him, and were able to prise the gun from him.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was asked why he had done it, and answered: "My life is s***."

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He admitted assaulting Mr Cameron and Gary Moir, 21, by presenting a loaded shotgun at them on 16 October last year in Burghead, Moray. He also pleaded guilty to stealing the gun and a quantity of cartridges from his father. Currently in a secure unit, he will be sentenced next month.

The High Court in Edinburgh was told yesterday that the father held a firearms certificate and stored guns in a secure cabinet in the attic of his home. The son returned home drunk about 10pm and went to his bedroom. About midnight, his father heard a noise outside, and realised his car alarm had been activated.

He went out and saw his son across the street, holding a shotgun in the open position. The boy fled. The father checked his firearms cabinet and saw that a 12 bore shotgun was missing.

Some two hours later, a group of friends walking down the road saw the boy, who was known to them, coming towards them. He had the gun, still in the open position. "He closed the shotgun and pointed the weapon at Mr Cameron's face. Mr Cameron saw the accused's finger on the trigger," said the advocate depute, Peter McCormack.

"The accused asked to speak to Mr Cameron. He said he would talk to him, but only if he unloaded his shotgun. The accused did as he was asked. In the process of unloading the cartridges, Mr Cameron, assisted by Mr Moir, wrestled the shotgun off the accused. Mr Cameron removed a cartridge still lodged inside the barrel and threw it away."