A COWDENBEATH drug dealer has avoided a jail sentence.

That was despite a sheriff saying Fife was “rife” with drug-dealing problems and “foot soldiers” like Stuart Gray played a vital role.

Gray, 36, of Drylie Street, appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He admitted previously that on August 24 last year, he was concerned in the supply of cannabis.

The court was told that during a search of his home, police found 350 grams of cannabis with an estimated value of £2,500.

Defence solicitor Aime Allan said her client had been taking cannabis “to manage epileptic seizures” and also sold the drug to fund his habit.

She said he was no longer taking cannabis and had started a college course.

Sheriff James Macdonald said: “The county of Fife and this area in particular is rife with drugs issues.”

He told Gray that those at the top of the drugs supply chain can only succeed “because there are always willing foot soldiers like yourself”.

The sheriff imposed a community payback order with 12 months of supervision and a 14-week restriction of liberty order.