A COUNTY man was caught with an unlicensed air rifle that had been gifted to him by a relative who had been a member of special forces unit the SAS.

Michael Marwick, 54, was found in possession of the “short rifle” after a friend of his had spotted the weapon during a house move and contacted the police.

Officers turned up at Marwick’s home at Tanderlane Cottages, near Garvald, and discovered the gun in a bedroom at the property in March 2022.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told that Marwick had claimed “he wasn’t aware he needed a licence” and the rifle was eventually seized by officers and has now been destroyed.

Solicitor Murray Robertson said that the weapon had been gifted to his client in 2012 by his father-in-law, who had been in the SAS, and it was considered to be “a family heirloom”.

The lawyer said that the “short rifle” had been found by a friend and the incident was reported to the police, though he said that there was “nothing suspicious” about the ownership of the weapon.

Sheriff Peter McCormack was told that Marwick was currently on a low level of benefits due to suffering from a disability and decided to mark the offence by ordering him to pay a fine of £110.

Marwick appeared at the court last Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to possessing an air weapon without holding the proper certificate at his home address on March 4, 2022.