A pensioner who thought a deadly gun he discovered under floorboards was a “daft old thing” has been given five years for illegal firearm possession.

George Watt, 65, was arrested by police who found a revolver which was kept in a bag in a wardrobe at his former home in Govan, Glasgow, on March 18 2022.

The high court heard how the discovery emerged when a cleaner for a housing association came across it whilst cleaning out the property for a new tenant.

Judge Lord Doherty heard how Watt, of Cardonald, Glasgow, later told police that he “didn’t think anything about it” after finding the firearm.

Watt - who pleaded guilty to possessing the gun without proper authority earlier this year - appeared for sentencing on Thursday at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Defence advocate Victoria Dow asked Lord Doherty not to impose a five year term on her client for the offence- the sentence required under tough firearms legislation.

Describing Watt’s attitude towards the gun, she said: “Upon finding it, he pulled the trigger and it did not work and that compounded his belief that it was a daft old thing.”

At a hearing earlier this year, the court heard that Glasgow Housing Association employee Alan Stewart was tasked with cleaning Watt’s home after he moved out to make way for a new tenant.

Prosecutor Vish Kathuria said: "Mr Stewart emptied the wardrobe and found a black bag under clothing which he noticed was heavy.

"He opened it to see what was inside and he found a black revolver which he put on the floor and called his manager."

Mr Stewart was informed to leave the property and contacted the police.

Police and firearms officers attended the property to make the gun safe before it was seized.

The gun was described to be an Italian-manufactured converted black firing revolver.

It was 18 centimetres in length with a barrel length of just under 10 centimetres.

The revolver was stated to be in poor condition but can fire modified blank cartridges.

Mr Kathuria added that a test of the gun with BB bullets resulted in the opinion that if fired at a person "it could be fatal."

Watt was traced meantime where he told officers that he "found it under the floorboards in May when putting in an aerial from the bedroom to the living room."

Mr Kathuria stated: "He told officers that he did not think anything of it.

"He said no one else knew about it and that he was not told to hold it for anyone.

He had no knowledge of it being adapted."

On Thursday, Ms Dow told the court that there “exceptional circumstances” that would allow the court to impose a lesser sentence on her client. She said he was in poor health and had co-operated with the police when the weapon was discovered.

She added: “it is my submission that when these circumstances are considered, the court can depart from its course of imposing a five year sentence.

“There are exceptional circumstances in this case.”

Passing sentence, Lord Doherty told Watt, who observed proceedings via video link from HMP Barlinnie, that he wasn’t persuaded to impose anything other than the five year term.

He added: “if this was fired at another person, the firearm could have been lethal.

“I am not satisfied that this is one of the rare cases where it can be said there are exceptional circumstances.

“This was a firearm that you ought to have informed the police about.

“In all the circumstances the appropriate sentence is one of five years imprisonment.”