A FORMER soldier from Clydebank has been cleared of a charge of possessing two firearms without permission.

John Carrick, 30, of Bedford Avenue, Drumry, was alleged to have had an pneumatic air rifle, without a firearms certificate at his home on May 1, 2017.

He was also charged with possession on the same day of a modified Italian manufactured Gun Toys replica revolver, capable of discharging a projectile.

Again it was claimed he didn’t have a firearms certificate for the items.

Mr Carrick, who sat in the dock wearing two decorative Army medals with ribbons attached, went on trial at Dumbarton Sheriff Court last week in front of a jury of eight men and seven women.

During the two-day trial the jury was told that police claimed to have found a quantity of the class B drug amphetamine in a fridge freezer during a search of his home.

It was alleged Mr Carrick committed all of the offences while on bail from Glasgow Sheriff Court, an order imposed on him on February 8, 2017.

In evidence, PC Ashley Convery told the jury that officers had gone to Mr Carrick’s house to search for drugs, but found the house empty and had to force entry before carrying out a systematic search of the house.

The jury were then told that during the search police discovered a revolver hidden in a sock and an air rifle in a rucksack.

Prosecutor Joane Gilmour, during her speech to the jury said: “He was the tenant and did not hold a firearms certificate for either weapon. That is not disputed.

“It is also not disputed that he was in Spain at the time of the search.

“Turning to the evidence, a fingerprint of Carrick’s was found on one of the weapons, as well as another, not belonging to the accused.

“During his evidence, the accused told us that he had got involved with a group of friends which he was trying to break away from, and didn’t want anything to do with, as they were, in his words, ‘boisterous’.

“He didn’t like what they were doing. This is a circumstantial case.”

Defence lawyer Jen Reid told the jury: “The evidence led has failed to prove the case against my client. There wasn’t even any evidence led that proved that the rucksack was his.

“As far as he was concerned he didn’t even live there any more and had been in Spain for five months.

“The knowledge as to who possessed these articles is at the crux of the Crown case, and it hasn’t been proved.”

The jury returned after just 15 minutes with one not guilty verdict to one of the weapons and found the other two charges not proven.