International career back on target for clay pigeon ace Jed

Jed Burn.
Jed Burn.

A clay pigeon shooter from Jedburgh has revived his international career, nine months after his firearms licence was restored by a sheriff.

Jed Burn was among 400 shooters who took part in the Scottish Sporting Championship at Aberdeen last Saturday.

And, with a score of 79 clays out of 100 in tricky conditions, the 26-year-old forestry contractor from Monklaw bagged a top 15 finish – and earned a place in the Scottish team which will compete in the prestigious Home International competition in Dublin next month.

Jed, who shoots at Braidwood, near Midlem, was touted as a future Olympian after his Scottish international debut against Wales in 2012.

But two years later, his dreams of competing in Rio were dashed when police revoked his firearms certificate after he posted a video online.

He was participating with friends in the so-called NekNominate challenge – a social media craze which saw young people around the world trying to outdo each other by drinking alcohol while performing stunts.

The clip showed Jed appearing to drink from a bottle of vodka while holding a shotgun.

Despite the fact the bottle was filled with water, and Jed was – and is – a teetotaller, the stunt backfired and he was stripped of his licence, triggering a two-year legal battle.

After he lodged an appeal, the decision of the sheriff at Jedburgh to order reinstatement of his certificate was opposed by then Police Scotland chief constable, Sir Stephen House.

But, following a judicial review at the Court of Session, the case was referred to the Jedburgh sheriff for reconsideration and, after several adjournments, his licence was finally restored at the end of last year.

“To say it was a nightmare is an understatement,” said Jed. “An innocent video clip cost me my sporting career for two years and I estimate I’ve spent around £12,000 in legal costs. It has made me determined to make up for lost time and, since my certificate was returned, I’ve competed in around 15 competitions across the UK and my performance has improved each time.

“I was naturally quite nervous on Saturday but, after two bad stands, I got back on track. To qualify for the Scottish team again is probably my proudest moment in the sport.”