AN ITEM bought on eBay led to a court appearance for an East Lothian Council security guard.

Paul Kermack bought a torch on the popular auction website last year with a view to using the device during his employment as a security worker with the council.

But the torch he bought also had a built-in electrical stun gun.

The 48-year-old used the implement at his work in and around the Haddington area but was caught out when he left it in a works van overnight.

The following morning, two employees then found the torch; when they switched it on an electrical beam shot out.

The council workers immediately informed their manager and an investigation was carried out to find the owner.

Kermack, from Edinburgh, was identified and he soon admitted the torch was his. He was sacked from his position with the council and criminal proceedings were begun.

Kermack appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to an amended charge of possessing the weapon on February 16 last year.

Fiscal deputy Sophie Rawlings told the court that two council mailroom employees got into the van on February 19 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 about the find and the police were called in to investigate.

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

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

He added Kermack knew he was facing “a serious charge” and “feels he has been a fool here”.

He added that Kermack had lost his employment due to buying the torch and wanted to “apologise to all those involved”.

Sheriff Alison Stirling deferred sentence to December 19 for reports.

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