Former police officer from Borders wins legal fight to get guns back

Brian Lile.
Brian Lile.

A former police officer has won a legal battle against his ex-bosses to have his shotguns and firearms certificates returned.

Police Scotland told Brian Lile, a serving officer at the time, that he could not be permitted to possess a firearm “without danger to the public safety or to the peace” after he was accused of being involved in a road-rage incident.

The 50-year-old’s gun certificates were revoked in July 2014 because he had been charged with being involved in the alleged roadside incident in Walkerburn three months previously.

Lile, also working as a deerstalker, retired after 30 years’ service with the police in November of that year.

The other man involved in the incident in Galashiels Road in Walkerburn accepted a warning letter from the procurator fiscal.

Lile, on the other hand, maintained his innocence and was eventually found not guilty at Selkirk Sheriff Court in April last year.

However, Lile said his polite requests for information about the return of his shotguns met with “an uninformative and curt” response from his former colleagues the police’s firearms and licensing section.

That prompted him to lodge an action against Police Scotland’s chief constable, Phil Gormley, at Jedburgh Sheriff Court calling for the force’s decision to be overturned.

Following several hearings, Sheriff Valeria Johnston ruled in his favour and ordered that his certificates and shotguns should be returned.

She stated:”I conclude that there is no evidence that he cannot be permitted to possess firearms or shotguns without danger to the public safety or to the peace.”

Lile, of Blainslie, near Lauder, runs a business called Sika Events and has been involved in deer management at several estates throughout Scotland and England to supplement his police pension.

However, he has had to pass on work to others when it required having a shotgun or firearms certificates, he told the court.