AN EAST Lothian Council security guard who bought a stun gun and left it in a work van has been ordered by a sheriff to carry out unpaid work in the community.

Paul Kermack bought the weapon, which was part of a torch, on the auction site eBay.

The 48-year-old took the device to his work at the local authority but was caught out when he left it behind in a council vehicle on February 19 last year.

Two workmates then came across the torch the following morning.

When they switched it on, an electrical beam shot out.

The council employees immediately informed their manager of the find and an investigation was carried out to find the owner of the dangerous weapon.

Kermack, from Edinburgh, was soon identified and admitted the torch was his during an internal interview. He was subsequently sacked from his position and the matter was reported to the police.

Kermack pleaded guilty to possessing the stun gun at Court Street, Haddington, when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month and he returned for sentencing last Tuesday.

Sheriff Alison Stirling ordered Kermack to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Previously, fiscal deputy Sophie Rawlings told the court that two council mailroom employees got into the van and found the device.

One of the men then turned the torch on and “a bright flashing light and crackling noise” came from the device.

The workers informed management and the police were called in to investigate.

During a subsequent interview, Kermack said he had used the van the night previously and had “admitted it [the stun gun] was his”.

Defending solicitor Peter O’Neill said his client had been “curious” about the device and that it had been “cheap and the kind of torch he was looking for”.

Mr O’Neill added that Kermack knew he was facing “a serious charge” and that he “feels he has been a fool here”.

The brief added that Kermack had lost his employment and wanted to “apologise to all those involved”.

Kermack pleaded guilty to possessing a weapon, namely an electrical stun gun, at Court Street, Haddington, on February 19, 2016.