A DRUG addict caught in Carlisle with heroin worth more than £10,000 was put under pressure to help his dealer because he owed a "significant debt," a court heard.

Malcolm John Nicholson, 35, who previously served time in jail for drug dealing, was caught when police stopped and searched him moments after he walked out of his Hawick Street home.

At Carlisle, Crown Court, the defendant admitted possessing the class A drug with intent to supply.

Brendan Burke, prosecuting, said the offence came to light on November 27 last year at 1.45pm when police decided to search the defendant because his behaviour was suspicious.

"He volunteered while the search was going on that he had a couple of ounces [of drugs] on him," said Mr Burke. "That turned out to be right."

At Nicholson's home, the officers found a 5oz bag of heroin and another bag with half an ounce of the same drug.

The total value of all the heroin he had - both on his person and in his home - was just over £10,000.

Kate Barnes, for Nicholson, said: "His explanation for being involved in this enterprise is that he himself had a drugs debt of some significance.

"He was prevailed upon to become involved. What's slightly unusual is that these were relatively large bags of heroin."

Nicholson was about to pass on the drug to somebody else and was not street dealing, said the barrister.

Passing sentence, Recorder Neville Biddle told Nicholson: "You have a long record, reflecting drug abuse over many years. I hope it's time for you to address that and indeed stop abusing drugs."

The judge imposed 32 months prison.

In September, 2018, the defendant was jailed for 33 months in jail for possessing heroin and cocaine with intent to supply. His record also convictions for public order offences and battery.