APPEAL COURT, HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY
OPINION OF THE COURT
THE HONOURABLE LORD PROSSER
APPEAL BY STATED CASE
PROCURATOR FISCAL, STIRLING
Appellant: Brown; Macbeth Currie & Co.
Respondent: Brown A.D.; Crown Agent
8 June 1999
This is an appeal by stated case by John Ryan. He appeared in the Sheriff Court at Stirling on 17 June 1998 and was convicted of an offence under Section 47(1) and (2) of the Firearms Act 1968. The charge was one of failing, when required by a police officer in uniform, to hand over a shotgun for examination.
The circumstances were a little unusual in that the appellant and another person were in a boat on the River Forth and it was from the shore that the police called upon those in the boat. Finding in fact 4 narrates that the police called to them repeatedly telling them to land the boat so that the legality of the shotguns and the particulars of those in the boat could be checked by police. The fifth finding based on that says that those in the boat were well aware that the constables required them to land the boat so that the shotguns could be examined by the constables. Finding 6 relates to a different officer and narrates his having shouted from the bank asking the men to land the boat to go ashore so that the police could check out the guns in the boat and it is said that despite being well within sight and earshot and so well aware that that officer required them to land so that the shotguns could be examined, they did not do so.
The point is a relatively short one as to whether there was sufficient evidence of the requirement by the police set out in the statute and narrated in the charge. The question is whether the Sheriff was entitled to repel a defence submission to the effect that there was no case to answer.
It appears to us that finding 4 is not as well expressed as it might be since it refers to the men being told to land so that the legality of the shotguns and the particulars of those in the boat could be checked. That perhaps falls somewhat short of a specific and explicit requirement in terms of the charge. But it appears to us, reading finding 4 with findings 5 and 6, that overall it must have been plain that the requirement that was being made was indeed a requirement both to land and to hand over the shotguns for examination.
In these circumstances we will answer the question in the affirmative and the appeal fails.