A REPEAT drug offender was jailed for six years and three months on Monday after he was caught with heroin worth more than £9,000 on the streets.

Plainclothes police officers on patrol in Musselburgh spotted Dean Purdie in a heated discussion at a time when he appeared intoxicated.

Purdie (43) was seen to get into a van as a passenger and the vehicle was followed until it pulled into a parking space.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that officers then identified themselves as police and noted that Purdie's appearance was consistent with someone who had taken blue valium tablets.

Advocate depute Steven Borthwick said Purdie was detained and a search revealed he had a bag containing 126 grams of heroin in a jacket pocket along with two mobile phones and £325 in cash.

Purdie later told police: "I didn't know what was there."

Mr Borthwick said that if the quantity of heroin recovered was broken down into tenner bag deals it had the potential to make £9,330 on the streets.

He said that the mobile phones were analysed and messages were recovered which were "redolent" of heroin dealing.

Purdie, a prisoner in Edinburgh, admitted being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug between April 2 and 26 this year at Gracefield Court in Musselburgh.

The prosecutor said Purdie had a criminal record dating back 21 years which included three previous jail sentences for drugs.

Defence solicitor advocate Simon Collins said Purdie had been working and supporting his parents but at the end of last year slipped back into using heroin.

He said he ended up with a significant habit and became involved in dealing.

The judge, Lord Uist, told Purdie: "It is of particular significance that this is your fourth conviction for being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

"You are therefore subject to a minimum sentence of seven years which I consider to be the appropriate sentence."

The judge allowed a discount of nine months from the sentence to take account of Purdie's guilty plea.