A heroin user was arrested after buying his fix through a letterbox of a house in Hartlepool.
Andrew Vale was spotted by police as he approached the front door of a house in Dent Street.
“He was seen to buy a small package via the letterbox,” prosecutor Lynn Dalton told Teesside Magistrates’ Court.
“Vale was challenged in the street when he was seen to put a foil package in his mouth.
“He spat it out when asked to do so.
“The package was later found to contain a small amount of heroin.
“When interviewed, Vale told police he had bought the heroin for £10 for his own use.”
Vale, 34, of Hart Lane, Hartlepool, admitted possession of a class A drug on January 3.
He has previous convictions for offences involving drugs and dishonesty.
Neil Taylor, defending, said: “While he does have a record, Mr Vale’s last conviction for any acquisitive crime was in 2016.
“There is no indication he has been going out stealing to get money to buy drugs.
“The record suggests he is not a regular user of heroin, rather that he dabbles with it occasionally.
“Mr Vale is on Universal Credit of £560 a month.
“I would suggest this matter be dealt with by way of a financial penalty.”
Vale was ordered to pay fines and costs of £235.
The money will be deducted from his benefits at £5 a week.
The magistrates ordered the confiscation and destruction of the heroin.