HMA v David Mitchell

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, 14 January 2019, Lord Pentland sentenced David Mitchell to five years’ imprisonment after the accused pled guilty to a serious firearms offences. On sentencing, Lord Pentland made the following statement in court:

“David Mitchell, you have pled guilty to a number of serious offences contrary to the Firearms Act 1968. These offences arose from your planned and deliberate conduct in attempting to acquire a working Glock pistol, a substantial quantity of ammunition suitable for use in it, and a silencer.

“It appears that you formed a plan to obtain these items by carrying out research on the dark web and then proceeding to order them for delivery to this country from the United States.  Fortunately, due to cooperation between the police forces of both countries your plan was thwarted, and the items were intercepted.

“You are a man of previous good character with a good employment record. You have a history of depression and of other behavioural difficulties. 

“It appears that your decision to acquire the gun and the other items arose from an obsessive preoccupation on your part with exploring whether it was possible to do so by making use of the dark web.

“You claim that you had no intention of causing harm to anyone, but the fact remains that you went to considerable lengths to get hold of a potentially lethal weapon and ammunition.

“You must have appreciated that this was unlawful. For this conduct you must be punished.

“I have taken fully into account all that was said on your behalf this morning and of the information contained in the various reports and letters that are before the court.

“On charge 3, I sentence you to five years’ imprisonment. On each of charges 1 and 2, I sentence you to two years’ imprisonment. These three sentences will run concurrently and will be backdated to 21 September 2018.”