A MARRIED mum and dad have been jailed after police raided their home and found a gun hidden in a safe and bullets stashed in a Smarties tube.

Alan and Andrea McCabe kept the converted BMM Bruni pistol in a safe in their bedroom ­— and a tub containing bullets in the their bedside table.

When officers searched their home, in Balmoral Road, Farnworth, Andrea McCabe broke down in tears before later handing police the key to the safe ­— hidden in her underwear.

More bullets for the gun were hidden in a Smarties tube in the kitchen.

Alan McCabe had been jailed for five years for drug offences, three weeks before the raid, in April 2018.

Now the couple are both behind bars ­— after a judge jailed them for a combined total of seven-and-a-half years.

In a sentencing hearing, at Minshull Street Crown Court, Brian Berlyne, prosecuting, said: “Andrea McCabe was at the house, together with various other members of her family. When she was told that the property was going to be searched, she began to shake and cry.”

He said she then told officers: “It’s in the safe. I found it but I’m not sure if it’s real.”

Inside the safe police found a BMM Bruni blank cartridge firing, self loading pistol and magazine. The gun had been converted to fire live ammunition.

A tub in the bedside table contained six bullets.

“She said there were some more bullets in a Smarties tube in the kitchen cupboard,” said Mr Berlyne.

The tube contained a five bullets and when police searched McCabe they also found a small quantity of cocaine and amphetamines on her.

Judge Graeme Smith heard that the gun’s original blocked barrel had been replaced and police firearms experts found that it could be fired using blank cartridges and modified cartridges.

Forensic tests found that the pistol, magazine and bullets had both Andrea and Alan McCabe’s DNA on them.

Alan McCabe, aged 39, pleaded guilty to possessing an illegal weapon and ammunition as did Andrea McCabe, aged 41, who also admitted two counts of possessing drugs.

In court both Jane Dagnall, defending Alan McCabe and Rachel Shenton, for Andrea McCabe, stressed that there was no evidence that the gun had been used.

Miss Shenton added that Andrea McCabe, a mother with young children, had mental health problems and could be regarded as vulnerable.

“She was in a very difficult position living where she was and had done all she could do in ensuring the weapon was locked away,” she said.

Judge Smith sentenced Andrea McCabe to four years in prison and Alan McCabe to three-and-a-half years.

He said: “This was clearly a dangerous weapon and kept in very worrying circumstances."