A TEENAGER from the Dursley area who became unwell at school was found to have a pistol taped to his shin and a knife tucked into his waistband, as well as other weapons.

The shocked deputy headteacher of the school, which can't be named for legal reasons, called the police when the weapons were found on the boy as he was being attended to in the school medical room after admitting to 'taking something', Gloucester Crown Court was told.

In total, the teen was carrying a derringer pistol, hunting knife, lock knife, cut throat razor, corkscrew and another razor blade, said prosecutor George Threlfall.

Later, the boy told police he had stolen the gun from a houseboat moored on a canal near Birmingham, Mr Threlfall said.

In March, the boy appeared before Gloucestershire Youth Court and admitted possessing the weapons on February 14, 2019. He was given an eight-month referral order.

The story was told at the crown court on Tuesday because the man from whom the boy stole the gun, Jeremy Wren, aged 44, of Engine Arm Mooring, Smethwick, Birmingham, admitted being illegally in possession of the weapon on his houseboat between February 1 and 15 last year.

The court was told there is a five year mandatory minimum prison sentence for such an offence unless there are special reasons why that term should not be imposed.

But after hearing the circumstances from the prosecution, Judge Ian Lawrie QC said he would not be sending Wren to jail.

Because of video link problems during the hearing, the judge decided to delay sentencing until June 12, when a new Skype-style system will be running.

Defence barrister Arthur Blake had told the court at an earlier hearing that Mr Wren has no previous criminal convictions, cautions or reprimands and his explanation for having the gun is that he found it in a hedge with the bullet already loaded inside. Mr Threlfall said police have not contradicted that explanation.

"He says he acquired the gun by finding - he lives on a remote part of the canal and he found this thing in a hedge. He intended to hand it in but forgot about it," said Mr Blake.