A lighthouse maintenance worker who shot a security guard at Aberdeen Harbour with an airgun has been jailed for 24 months.
Mark Raymond recklessly discharged the air rifle at the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project on Greyhope Road, striking Nasir Begum on the body with a pellet.
The 29-year-old also shot at a CCTV camera in the area and after being caught police officers uncovered his collection of weapons he kept in a shed at Girdleness Lighthouse in Torry.
Raymond, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court via a video link from the jail, and had already pled guilty to a total of 12 charges.
He admitted a vandalism charge of wilfully or recklessly destroying or damaging a CCTV camera by discharging a firearm at it on December 31 2018, and to recklessly discharging an air rifle, striking Mr Begum with a pellet, on February 16 2019.
Raymond further pled guilty to possessing a number of firearms and ammunition at Girdleness Lighthouse, on Greyhope Road, on February 18 2019.
He admitted possessing a folding shotgun, rifle ammunition, a Victory CO2 pistol, a Webley Raider rifle, an air rifle, and four pneumatic air rifles without the relevant certification.
Raymond also admitted failing to appear at court for an earlier hearing.
Security guard felt ‘something strike’ him while on patrol
Fiscal depute Katy Begg told the court Mr Begum had been out patrolling the harbour site when he felt something hit his jacket.
She said that after returning to his office a colleague checked him over and discovered something embedded in his clothing.
Miss Begg said: “At around 9pm on February 16 2019, Nasir Begum carried out a foot patrol of the locus in his capacity as a security guard. Suddenly he felt something strike his jacket on his upper left chest near his collar area.
“He was unsure what struck him and believed it may have been stones. He felt pain and continued his patrol before returning to the security office where he asked a co-worker to check his clothing.
“They found a metal pellet embedded in Mr Begum’s jacket. The accused had fired the pellet in the dark from an air rifle without care for who or what the pellet may strike. Mr Begum sustained a minor injury which did not require medical treatment.”
A collection of firearms were found in a shed
Miss Begg added that Raymond was spotted nearby the very next night so the security guards decided to contact the police which lead to them uncovering a cache of air weapons.
She said: “At around 9pm on February 17 2019 security guards at the locus saw the accused near the perimeter fence. He was acting suspiciously in a manner that led them to contact police.
“Given the events of the previous day the police were keen to investigate.
“They arrived and saw the accused at the perimeter fence on the side of Balnagask Golf Course. The accused was found in possession of a red torch, keys, an airwave transmitter and a night vision rifle scope.
“It was established he was employed as a general maintenance worker at Girdleness Lighthouse. The accused’s employer was contacted and arrived to assist the police. He showed the police the sheds to which the accused had access near the lighthouse. These included a small wooden shed to which the accused had sole access. The locus was secured by police officers.
“At 2.30am on February 18 2019 police officers inspected the small wooden shed. Through a gap in the door they could see a black air rifle. A firearms search warrant was craved and granted. The keys previously seized from the accused were used to open the shed.”
Miss Begg said that the weapons found by the officers included a Belgian manufactured shotgun, a quantity of ammunition, a Chinese manufactured pistol designed for airgun pellets, a pneumatic air rifle, a Chinese made air rifle and four air rifles capable of firing air pellets.
‘Absolute luck’ security guard was not seriously hurt
Raymond’s defence agent George Yule said his client was interested in guns having previously lived in England.
He said: “He is a young man diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He has no family support in Scotland having moved here because of a relationship with a young lady.
“I acknowledge these are serious offences, but he is 600 miles from home and his mother has been unable to see him.
“He has an interest in guns and he was part of a gun club in England but when he came to Scotland he failed to alert the authorities about the weapons.
“He would like to go out and shoot rats but on this occasion, he hits the security guard.
“It is absolute luck that he did not seriously injure this man.”
Sheriff Philip Mann Raymond had committed “serious offences” and as well as jailing him for two years placed him on a 12-month supervision order on his release.