Glasgow & West Scotland

Man caught with gun in Govanhill is jailed

A Romanian man caught with a handgun in his car claimed he had found it lying beside a bus stop in Govanhill.

Tibi Rusu, who had only been in the UK for 12 days at the time of the offence on 22 October last year, said he picked it up after thinking it was a toy gun.

The 46-year-old was jailed for five years and four months at the High Court in Glasgow.

Sentencing, judge Lady Rae said his explanation for having the gun was preposterous.

She said: "You were in possession of a dangerous weapon on the public streets of Glasgow."

Rusu, who was found guilty of rape in 2006, initially told police officers he had brought the gun from Romania for protection.

The court heard that police pulled Rusu over because they were concerned about the standard of his driving.

'Carried for protection'

Officers then found the weapon in the glove box of his left-hand drive Audi.

Rusu told officers: "It's for protection back home. I brought it with me from Romania to Scotland. I came by boat about 12 days ago. It shoots rubber bullets."

However, in court the father-of-two, whose children live in Romania, spoke through an interpreter to deny this and he claimed his English was poor.

He said he found the gun when he parked beside a bus stop in Govanhill while his passenger went into a shop.

He told Lady Rae: "I thought it was a toy gun and was thinking of taking this to my nephew who was four or five years old.

"When I picked it up I noticed it was heavy. I wanted to put it back and didn't know what to do. I put it in my satchel."

The handgun was found to be a Hungarian Kesuru model KEF single-shot pistol designed to shoot 9mm Flobert cartridges.

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