A MAN caught with two imitation handguns hidden in a rucksack while walking on a Musselburgh street has been jailed.

Stefan Heron was stopped by police officers in connection with several thefts from shops in the town in November last year.

Heron, 34, was searched by the officers, who found gloves, a balaclava and the two imitation weapons hidden away in the hold-all he was carrying.

Police had been called in by a shop worker who gave a description of a thief who had stolen from their shop earlier that day and who matched Heron’s description.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told that the Austrian Glock model and a Chinese-made Galaxy gun were “not potentially lethal” but that one of the handguns was “capable of discharging pellets”.

Fiscal depute Nicole Lavelle said that police were called out to Musselburgh High Street following a call from a store employee at about 10am on November 29 last year.

Ms Lavelle said: “Officers attended and spoke to the witness and then passed round a description of an individual.

"PC Kerr noted an individual matching the description nearby.

“The accused had a rucksack and during the search officers found two handguns, a balaclava and gloves within.”

The two handguns were said to be “realistic in appearance” and Heron, of North High Street, Musselburgh, offered “no explanation” as to why he was in possession of the guns.

A subsequent ballistics report stated that the Glock gun had the word ‘f***’ scratched into the handle but was “not able to discharge” ammunition.

The Chinese model was within a box and described as being in “good external condition and capable of discharging ammunition”.

During last Friday’s court hearing in Edinburgh, Heron’s not guilty pleas to stealing items from Poundstretcher, Boots and Semichem on the same day as the gun offence were all accepted by the Crown.

Solicitor James Stewart said that his client was a heroin addict and had turned to crime due to his benefits being stopped and him having no finances.

Mr Stewart added that Heron was “well aware of the prospect of a custodial sentence given the serious nature of the offence”.

Sheriff Michael O’Grady told Heron it was a "serious matter" but added he would "give you some credit for pleading guilty ahead of a trial”.

Sheriff O’Grady sentenced Heron to a 14-month prison term.