A man who was caught with a stun gun disguised as a torch was jailed for the minimum period of five years today (Thursday) following a drugs raid at his home.
A judge was told that Martin Horner was “astounded” when he learnt the weapon was classed as a firearm and distraught at the sentence he faced.
Horner was caught with the stun gun and heroin worth £6400 on the streets during a police search at his home in Hawthornden Avenue, Bonnyrigg, in Midlothian.
He claimed during questioning that the drugs, which could have produced 600 street deals, were for his own personal use.
But Horner (30), today admitted having the heroin with intent to supply it on February 1 this year and pled guilty to illegal possession of the disguised firearm which was marked “police”.
A judge told Horner that he was no stranger to the courts for drugs offences and pointed out he had five previous convictions for weapons.
Lord Mulholland told him: “You have plead guilty to two serious charges. You well know the effects of heroin use.”
Defence solicitor advocate Ewen Roy said Horner was selling the drug to addicts known to him primarily to fund his own heavy use of heroin.
He said Horner had been dependent on the Class A drug since his late teens and had first tried it when he was 13.
“I am advised by him that he was abusing between two and three grams of heroin every day in addition to taking prescribed drugs,” said Mr Roy.
He said that when Horner was arrested by police he was in a “terrible” physical condition and was now prescribed the substitute drug methadone in custody.
Mr Roy said Horner had obtained the stun gun through a friend and understood it had been purchased on the internet.
The defence lawyer said: “There seems to be an element of being quite intrigued by the item.
“He was frankly astounded on learning it was a firearm and distraught when informed of the minimum five year sentence.”
Mr Roy said Horner had “a very difficult childhood” and spent years in care.
Advocate depute Alan Cameron said police had turned up at the house in Bonnyrigg armed with a search warrant and forced entry.
They found Horner alone in the property and seized drug-linked items such as scales and foil.
They also recovered £415 in cash, along with 64 grams of heroin and the working stun gun.
The prosecutor said two separate quantities of heroin were found but neither were regarded as recognisable deals of drug squad officers and were likely to be the remains of larger quantities.
Mr Cameron said both amounts were in excess of personal use quantities of the drug and could be divided into street deals.