Tayinloan businessman fined £1,100

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A man considered one of Scotland’s foremost country sports guides was fined a total of £1,100 for growing cannabis at his home and lax security for his firearms when he appeared before Campbeltown Sheriff Court last week.

At an earlier court appearance Alastair Gibson Brew, of Gortinanane House, admitted producing the plants and also to contravening certain conditions of his shotgun certificate, namely that firearms and ammunition be stored securely at all times to prevent them being accessed by unauthorised persons.

The court had previously heard that officers called at the Tayinloan property on May 20 this year on a unrelated courtesy visit and a ‘cursory look’ in a poly-tunnel revealed the cannabis plants.

The 27 plants were calculated to be around two months old with a possible yield value of £5,400 to £10,800, said procurator fiscal depute David Glancy.

A shotgun was found unsecured inside a wardrobe with ammunition found in an ice-cream tub, a boot bag and on top of a kitchen unit. The keys to the gun cupboard were also found.

Brew, aged 60, said it was not his intent to sell the cannabis or plant more.

Sheriff Patrick Hughes called for reports before sentencing took place last week.

The sheriff was told that firearms certification was now in the hands of other family members involved in the renowned country sports business.

Defence agent Stephen MacSporran described Brew’s work as ‘much more a way of life’ and added: ‘He has had his [firearms] licence revoked.’

Sheriff Hughes noted Brew’s ‘excellent record and otherwise unblemished character’ and the contents of the report.

‘Both charges are serious matters and the production of a controlled drug is always of concern to the court,’ he said, adding that he took note of the medicinal background mentioned in the report.