A DRUG dealer from Fife was jailed for more than five years after he was caught with heroin three times within a year.

Paul Greechan, 48, was previously imprisoned twice for trafficking in Class A drugs before his latest arrests.

A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday: "It is clear that you have been dealing in drugs to generate a not insignificant amount of cash."

Lord Weir said Greechan would have faced seven years in jail because of his drug trafficking record, but the sentence was reduced to five years and 219 days following his guilty plea.

Unemployed Greechan admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin at a house in South Street, Cowdenbeath, a room he occupied at the James Bank Hostel, James Street, Dunfermline and an address in Craigmyle Street, Dunfermline, between May 8 2020 and January 10 2021.

His criminal record included offences of dishonesty and violence and a significant number of convictions for drugs.

The latest offence involved three separate incidents where he was found in possession of heroin.

Advocate depute Alan Cameron said the amount of the drug involved "was excessive for personal use and indicative of involvement in the supplying of that drug".

On May 8 last year police searched a flat in South Street, Cowdenbeath, and found Greechan there with others.

He had £285 and a bag containing 38 grams of heroin worth up to £1,925 on the streets.

Greechan was arrested on June 5 last year, when he was staying at the hostel in Dunfermline, on an unconnected matter.

Following his arrest a member of staff found a bag containing heroin down the side of a chair in his room.

Police were contacted and a search of the room revealed £461 in cash, three sets of scales and a bag containing 93g of heroin worth up to £4,650.

On January 10 this year police searched a flat in Craigmyle Street, Dunfermline, where they found Greechan.

Under a mattress in the bedroom they found his wallet containing £605, a set of scales and heroin with a potential value of £1,800.

Greechan was not interviewed after his three arrests as each time he refused to leave a cell at Dunfermline police station.

Defence solicitor advocate Gordon Martin said that Greechan did not start to take to heroin until his 30th birthday and was last released from prison in 2017.

Mr Martin said: "On his release from his last sentence, although drug free, he was returned to the same environment he had been in prior to incarceration, the same friends, same places to visit and hang out and it therefore became difficult for him to avoid drugs and he began to consume them again."

Greechan ran up a drug debt and began selling to friends and acquaintances to feed his own habit, said the defence lawyer.