A DRUGS 'courier' from Wrexham has been spared jail after he was caught with a parcel of heroin in his trousers.

Joseph Ashley Doyle, of Longfield in Chirk, appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday for sentence.

The 30-year-old had previously admitted that on April 15 last year, he had in his possession 22.2 grams of diamorphine with intent to supply it to another.

Elen Owen, prosecuting, told the court that on the morning in question Doyle was spotted by police in Colwyn Bay.

He claimed he had been visiting his grandmother - which was not true.

On his way to be searched at a police station, he tried to discard a package hidden in the groin area of his trousers.

Police confirmed it contained 168 knotted wraps of heroin, with a total street value of almost £1,700.

Ben Berkson, defending, said Doyle travelled to the area from Liverpool but he hadn't brought the drugs with him - he'd collected them in Colwyn Bay and was due to transport them to another part of the region.

He did that as a way to clear a debt he'd accrued and believed the contents to be cocaine, not heroin.

Mr Berkson said Doyle was simply a "courier" and would have been dropping the package off with a street dealer as opposed to dealing himself, describing the offence as a "one-off."

He invited the court to draw back from immediate custody, emphasising the progress the 30-year-old had made in getting back into employment and his caring responsibilities to his grandmother.

Judge Timothy Petts told him: "You were effectively working as a courier, repaying a drug debt. "It was a limited function you were performing under direction.

"It seems to me you've made steps to get back from the place you were a year ago."

Doyle received a 14 month custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months.

He was ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and was made subject to a three month electronically monitored curfew.