December 1989

The former governor of Glenochil prison, Gordon Jackson, was admonished for illegal possession of CS gas and 12-bore blast cartridges. Jackson, 47, appeared at Alloa Sheriff Court, where Sheriff Robert Younger told him that his fault was in not obtaining the certificates necessary for possessing the ammunition. The sheriff added: 'There has been no suggestion that you had any sinister motive in holding it'.

The court heard that Jackson had been responsible for planning and training crisis intervention teams to deal with riots and hostage-taking in Scottish prisons. The ammunition had been brought back from a demonstration by a security company in England. The fiscal said that after disturbances in 1986 and 1987, the Scottish Prison Service had decided to make preparations to deal with any future incidents 'in the most professional manner possible'.

On 30 September 1988, Jackson suffered a heart attack and it was during his convalescence that the ammunition was discovered in a secure locker at the prison. It was not disclosed to the court who found it or who called in the police. The press reported that Jackson’s health had been shattered, his family life ruined, his career reduced to tatters, by the long ordeal of having a criminal charge hanging over him, and there was a feeling in the media that there had been an element of vindictiveness in bringing a prosecution on so technical a charge.

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