AN ALEXANDRIA drug mule who had more than £21,000 worth of heroin hidden from his mum at home has avoided a jail sentence.

Jack Macklin, 21, was arrested last September after a police raid at the property.

Inside, officers found multiple bags of brown powder, later confirmed as heroin, hidden in a number of places, including inside Kinder eggs.

Dumbarton Sheriff Court heard last week how the total value of the drugs could be £21,650. Sold as individual £10 deals, they could have been worth even more.

Fiscal depute Martina McGuigan told the court that police found Macklin at home with his mother and girlfriend.

Various items were recovered during the raid at Macklin’s then home in Braes Avenue in Clydebank including from a cupboard under an outdoor stairwell, with another knotted bag in a corner next to a weight bench in his bedroom.

There was also a green cup with traces of brown powder and a bank card with similar traces.

Macklin made no comment in a police interview.

Judith Reid, defending, said her client “knew he shouldn’t be doing this” and added: “He knew what he was involved with.”

She said he was “under pressure” to be involved in the drug trade but accepted his guilt.

The court was told Macklin and his family had since moved from the address where the raid took place to a property in Halkett Crescent in Alexandria.

Macklin pleaded guilty back in April, but sentencing was delayed because of the pandemic.

Sheriff William Gallacher, who referred to Macklin’s role as that of a “drug mule”, said: “The quantity here is enormous, and the different locations trouble me.”

He told Macklin: “This community is badly affected by drugs. The lives of people are all influenced by the presence of drugs.

“I consider this court has an obligation in regards to that.

“You have a work ethic and supportive family and accepted responsibility at the earliest opportunity. I think I can find a way to not impose a custodial sentence, but it’s a very close call.”

Macklin was put on a community payback order with social work supervision for 12 months.

He must also do 300 hours of unpaid work in the community in that time, the maximum punishment.

His progress will be reviewed on November 24 and the sheriff warned if he failed to comply, he would impose a significant custodial sentence.