Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Royal Navy sailor Kevin Moffat jailed after gun threat

HMS Edinburgh
Image caption HMS Edinburgh was alongside in Lisbon when the threat was made

A sailor has been jailed after threatening a superior officer with a rifle on board a Royal Navy ship.

Leading Seaman (Above Water Warfare) Kevin Moffat, 45, was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm by a court martial in Portsmouth.

Moffat took an SA80 service rifle and three rounds of ammunition into an officer's cabin on HMS Edinburgh when he was concerned about a leave request.

He has been jailed for three years and dismissed from the navy.

During the hearing earlier this month, Wing Cdr Andrew McKendrick, prosecuting, told the trial the Royal Navy sailor, originally from Edinburgh, had been drafted at short notice to serve onboard the now-decommissioned Type 42 destroyer, last summer.

The ship was due to visit the Falkland Islands.

'Psychological storm'

In September, Moffat, who now lives in Gosport, Hampshire had become worried because his partner was due to give birth in January this year and he had not had a request for leave confirmed.

He had missed the birth of another child five years before.

The court heard he went to the cabin of executive officer Lt Cdr Robert Williams while the ship was alongside in Lisbon, Portugal and told him: "Sir, you know me, this is a loaded weapon and it's cocked. I want to talk to you."

Lt Cdr Williams asked him to hand over the rifle to another rating who was outside the cabin, which Moffat did. It was later found not to be loaded.

After the guilty verdict, defence lawyer Matthew Farmer said Moffat had a "perfect psychological storm in his head" when the incident happened and it was not likely to happen again.

The judge advocate Robert Hill said he had been found guilty of "conduct of a very serious nature towards a senior officer".

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