A 40-YEAR-OLD man found with heroin which had a street value of £165,000 has avoided a prison sentence at Selkirk Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said there were "exceptional circumstances" in the case of Michael Dodds and why he was able to impose an alternative community-based disposal.

The 40-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs and also possession of cocaine.

The offences happened at a house in Laidlaw Court in Galashiels on April 27 last year.

Defence lawyer Ed Hulme said his client had been asked by someone to hold onto the drugs but the amount had not been specified to him.

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He added there was no evidence he was personally involved in the actual supply operation.

After studying background reports Sheriff Paterson said that an offence of this nature would normally warrant a lengthy custodial sentence when he was the custodian of a substantial amount of drugs.

But he told Dodds there were "exceptional circumstances in your case" relating to his efforts in looking after his child.

As an alternative to jail Dodds was placed on a night-time curfew at an address in Galashiels for the next 10 months between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and placed on supervision for two years.