Jamie Blair bids to avoid jail term over gun found in loft

A man who admitted possessing a shotgun is hoping to avoid a minimum five-year jail term after claiming he was given the weapon when he was 14 years old.

Jamie Blair, 34, was arrested after police found the shotgun hidden in the loft of the home he shared with his mother in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute.

He claimed he was given the weapon by older boys and that it was wrapped in a bag which dated back to about 1989.

At the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lord Turnbull delayed his decision.

The court heard that Blair was detained by police after the gun was found in May last year.

His legal team is arguing that there are "exceptional circumstances" and that he should be spared the minimum five-year sentence for such offences.

Swedish bag

The court heard claims Blair had been asked to take hold of the shotgun when he was 14 by a group of "older boys" he was friends with at the time.

Blair told the court that he stashed the weapon in the loft "out of the way of his mum".

He claimed the weapon - which was not in working order - stayed there for the next 20 years and that he never bothered with it.

Blair's legal team said the gun had been kept in a bag from a shop based in Sweden.

Lili Prais, defending, said the bag had a slogan on it which translated to "We are celebrating 15 years".

Ms Prais added the particular shop opened in 1974, meaning the bag could be from as far back as 1989.

The lawyer also said the gun had never been moved, even when Blair had previously moved out of his mother's home.

Lord Turnbull delayed making a decision until another hearing later this month.

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