A MILITARY memorabilia collector with mental health difficulties is facing jail after police found an armour-piercing bullet in a suitcase.

Alistair Jamieson, 45, told officers that it was just "a memento".

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that officers raided Jamieson's former home in Tamfourhill, Falkirk, on June 24, armed with a search warrant.

Prosecutor Michael Maguire said: "A 39mm live round was found in the front pocket of a suitcase in the living room.

"Frankly, it's a bullet, and it looks like a bullet."

Ballistics experts found it was an armoured round for military use – and therefore a prohibited item under UK firearms legislation – with a jacket and hard core designed to penetrate armour plating.

He was arrested several weeks later on August 27, and told officers he was "frequently gifted" spent ammunition.

Mr Maguire said: "He was adamant that his reason for having it was his fascination for military technology and he had never intended for it to be anything other than a memento".

Jamieson, now of Izatt Terrace, Clackmannan, pleaded guilty to possessing prohibited ammunition.

Last Tuesday, November 10, solicitor Ms Kelly Howe, defending, told the court: "He has significant mental health difficulties. It's always been his position that the item was collected by him for memorabilia purposes.

"From time to time he is given various items.

"He was completely unaware it was a live bullet, and had he been aware of that, and had he been aware of the illegality of being in possession of such an item, he would never have agreed to have it in the first place."

Ms Howe said that despite the offence, Jamieson had been assessed as posing no public protection issues.

She said: "He is suitable for an alternative to custody."

Sheriff Christopher Shead said Jamieson did not appear to be considered a danger to the public, and continued the case to December 1st for an assessment of his fitness to perform unpaid work as a possible alternative to jail.

He said: "The court will defer sentence so it can have the fullest information, and in particular so the court can consider whether any alternative to a custodial sentence would ultimately be in the public interest."