A 33-YEAR-MAN has pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm without a certificate after he took his father’s gun and fired two shots, injuring himself in the lower jaw in the process.
Alnwick magistrates heard Andrew Rutherford, currently living at St Cuthbert’s bail hostel in Gateshead, was living with his father in Harbottle at the time of the offence on June 28 last year.
His father, a registered firearms holder, kept the .22 calibre rifle in a locked firearms cabinet where he also kept an ammunition box and his alcohol.
The night before the offence, he left the keys to the cabinet in his coat pocket and went to work the next day, leaving them behind.
Rutherford found the keys and opened the cabinet, drinking the alcohol before taking out the gun and ammunition.
Although he has no recollection of it, a friend said he received a phone call from Rutherford in which he said he was going to kill himself.
The friend didn’t take this seriously at first but on receiving a second call from a very upset Rutherford he alerted the police.
A police officer found Rutherford with a wound to his lower jaw. Rounds were strewn around the house, including two spent rounds in an upstairs bedroom.
In interview, Rutherford admitted that he shot himself in the jaw.
The magistrates sent the case to crown court for sentence as Rutherford is on a suspended sentence for burglary and breaching a restraining order. He was released on unconditional bail.