A DRIVER caught with a bag of heroin hidden in his shorts has avoided jail.

Michael Downes, 27, turned himself into officers after being stopped in Glasgow’s Springburn on February 5 this year.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard Downes was initially pulled over by police in his Audi for an unrelated matter.

An officer smelled cannabis from the vehicle after speaking to Downes which prompted a search.

It returned a negative result but police still had reason to arrest Downes.

He told officers: “You are going to find it anyway, I have got a bag of hash down my shorts.”

Prosecutor Sean Docherty said: “Downes was searched and a clear wrap containing brown powder was found and he was detained.”

The bag was tested and found to contain heroin.

It was found to weigh 63.2g and had the potential street deal value of £2,260.

Downes pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply.

Tracy Mulholland, defending, told the court that Downes is “adamant” that the drug was not going to be subdivided to sell on for profit.

The lawyer added: “He has always had issues with drugs.

“He was in contact with those who supply him with the drugs and they asked him to carry them.

“Mr Downes knows he is key part in the drugs chain.

“He works as a roofer and has two children and says he is able to put this behind him.”

Sheriff Shona Gilroy ordered Downes to do 200 hours of unpaid work and tagged him for 150 days keeping him indoors between 7pm and 7am.

He was also put under supervision for 18 months.

The Sheriff said: “This is a really serious offence and I could have sent you to custody - may of my fellow Sheriffs would.

“I’m just persuaded I can deal with this by means of another disposal.

“If you breach this order and deviate from it, it will be custody.”