A BALLINGRY drug dealer caught with tablets in his home with a value of more than £8,000 has avoided a jail sentence.

Thomas Haldane, 30, of Kildownie Crescent, appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He admitted that on June 7, 2019, at his home, he was concerned in the supply of a controlled drug, etizolam.

Depute fiscal Azrah Yousaf said police had arrived at his house with a search warrant and drugs with a street value of £8,279 were found.

He claimed at that time he was “holding them for someone”.

Defence solicitor Alexander Flett said: “The valuation given by the Crown for the drugs seems preposterous.”

He added there was a background of mental health issues and that his client had a limited record with nothing analogous.

The court heard Haldane told a social worker he had bought the drugs on the internet, planning to keep some for his anxiety and sell the rest to make money.

Sheriff Alastair Brown told Haldane: “This drug kills people. I’ve dealt with cases where sudden death has been associated with this drug. You’re fortunate you’re not going to prison.”

However, instead of jail, he imposed a six-month restriction of liberty order.