A Scottish man who purchased a pistol and ammunition from a darknet market will spend a minimum of five years in prison after pleading guilty to the related charge against him. Andrew Williams, 48, of Hawick, Scotland, claims to have purchased the weapon out of concern over a “threat to him and his family,” which was a man in England.
According to a court advocate during the sentencing hearing, Williams had developed mental health problems because of his addiction to what was described as “recreational drugs.” Although he says he was simply trying to “protect his family,” the advocate said Williams was “in a spiral” and “meeting the wrong kind of people.”
A Glock 19, similar to the model Williams had attempted to purchase. Source: Saddle Rock Armory
On June 8 of this year, Williams received a Glock 19 (later confirmed to be in working condition) and 50 rounds of ammunition in the post, shipped internationally from the US. UK authorities knew about the delivery after being tipped off by a US federal agent, however. The agent had spotted the weapon “concealed in electrical equipment,” prompting him to inform law enforcement in the jurisdiction of its intended recipient.
Williams was subsequently arrested at home, immediately after accepting the package. He was wearing white gloves when arrested, apparently in an attempt to avoid leaving fingerprints on the weapon.
Williams was a former army reservist and was a UK National Health Service (NHS) student nurse at the time of his arrest. His conviction renders him excluded from further employment in the NHS. He will not be eligible for parole until after the minimum five-year sentence has passed; a measure part of strict anti-gun legislation recently passed by UK parliament. He is currently jailed at the High Court in Edinburgh, Scotland.