Published: 31/05/2011 15:19 - Updated: 01/06/2011 14:40

Sleeping gamekeeper fined over guns on table

A GAMEKEEPER who was found asleep in a chair in his kitchen with a shotgun and rifle lying on the kitchen table was fined £160 at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Martin MacKenzie has been suspended from his job and also faces losing his firearms licence.

Depute Fiscal Karen Smith said police had to attend the house at Mains of Aberarder and found Mackenzie asleep at the kitchen table.

The rifle and shotgun were lying on the table, she told Sheriff Ian Abercrombie.

Mackenzie (36) of Craggan Valley, Kiltarlity, admitted on May 18 last year failing to comply with conditions of his firearms certificate that he failed to keep the guns in a secure designated place.

Craig Wood, solicitor, said Mackenzie was married with two children, and had been a keeper at Arberarder for 10 years. "Since this incident he has been suspended by his employers."

Mr Wood added that a letter had been received from the Chief Constable asking for Mackenzie’s certificate to be revoked, but this was the subject of an appeal.

"He had been using his guns and intended to clean them," said Mr Wood. "He took several phone calls and when the police attended he accepts he should have dealt with it more expeditiously. He is a perfectly reasonable human being."

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