A MAN who was previously forced out of his Prestonpans home after a protest by residents has been jailed after he was caught with a knife outside an Edinburgh supermarket.

Gavin Inkster, 31, told shocked staff at the Sainsbury’s Local that he was armed with the four-inch kitchen blade, before fleeing the store in October last year.

Inkster was caught by police nearby and claimed he had drunk alcohol and taken 40 Valium tablets before confronting the shop staff.

He had previously been hounded out of his former home at Redburn Road in Prestonpans in 2020 following a demonstration outside his property by concerned residents.

Inkster pleaded guilty to knife possession and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner when he appeared via video link at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

Inkster was in the dock in person on Monday, when Sheriff Alistair Noble was told that Inkster also had two previous convictions for possessing an offensive weapon.

Lawyer Christopher McFarlane, for Inkster, said that his client had suffered “a downturn in his mental health” which had led to his latest offending.

The solicitor added that Inkster “accepted responsibility” for the knife offence and the labourer had employment open to him if he was to escape custody.

But after hearing the solicitor’s representation, the sheriff sentenced Inkster to a 12-month jail term backdated to October.