A gunman who terrified students at a Paisley college just days after the Las Vegas shooting atrocity has escaped without a conviction – so he can get a job.

Armed response officers were scrambled to West College Scotland after Michael Muir was spotted with a handgun in a holster.

It was only after they seized the weapon to ensure it had been made safe that they were able to confirm it was actually a toy.

Muir, who was 17 at the time, had taken the gun to college with him to show it to his friends ahead of a Hallowe'en party.

He said he planned to wear it as part of a costume he was putting together to be one of the characters from computer game Army Of Two.

But prosecutor Saud Ul-Hassan claimed Muir did it as a stunt to try to shock people after the Las Vegas shooting.

Muir took the weapon to the college on October 5 last year.

Four days earlier, Stephen Paddock had opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving 58 people dead and 851 injured.

Muir went on trial at Paisley Sheriff Court in March charged over the incident.

He could not be identified as he was 17 and was covered by reporting restrictions protecting those aged under the age of 18 who are involved in court cases.

But he can now be unmasked as the gunman as he recently celebrated his 18th birthday.

Prosecutors claim he had an "imitation firearm" in the form of "an imitation handgun" in a public place "without lawful authority or a reasonable excuse" in breach of Section 19(d) of the Firearms Act 1968.

Firearms officer Aiden Riley gave evidence in the trial, telling the court he was directed to a classroom in the West College Scotland building on Renfrew Road, Paisley, on October 5 last year.

He said he was shown where the weapon was and went about making it safe, believing it was a real gun until he picked it up.

He explained: "It was a toy gun, I knew that from examining it.

"Whilst it was within the holster you wouldn't know.

"There's no weight to it.

"For all intents and purposes it does resemble a Colt 911 pistol, which is a genuine firearm.

"If someone pointed it at me from a distance it would be hard to tell it was an imitation.

"I gloved up and removed the weapon from its holster.

"As it was a toy, it didn't have any working parts to make safe."

Muir took the stand to give his version of events, denying it had anything to do with the shooting atrocity.

He said: "I wasn't aware of the shooting - I don't keep up with the news."

He claimed he did have a reasonable excuse for having it in public as he was planning to use it as part of a Halloween costume and wanted to "seek approval" from friends and lecturers.

Defence solicitor Kirsty McGeehan, a partner in law firm McGeehan and Company, said her client was "guilty of being extremely stupid" but asked Sheriff Susan Sinclair to acquit him.

But the sheriff opted not to give a verdict and deferred conviction until this week.

And when Muir, who maintained his innocence, returned to the dock this week, he was allowed to leave court without a criminal record.

After hearing from Mrs McGeehan that Muir has stayed out of trouble, Sheriff Sinclair told him: "I think that this is genuinely a one-off incident that was very stupid but wasn't intended to cause anyone any harm or upset.

"I'm not going to convict you, I'm going to grant you an absolute discharge so it won't count as a conviction on your record, which shouldn't affect you getting a job in the future.

"Just don't be so stupid again."

Muir now lives in Linwood, after recently moving there from Paisley.