A HEROIN dealer who planned to sell the class A drug to buy a headstone for his deceased father was spared jail.

Gulam Ali, 19, was caught with 22 wraps of diamorphine at his home in Harrow Road, Newport, a court heard.

His barrister, Chris Jervis, indicated that his decision to sell the heroin with an estimated street value of £220 was partly brought on by "naivety".

Ali had no previous convictions and already spent about a month on remand, Newport Crown Court heard.

He pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply.

Judge Robert Craven gave him a two-year custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months, 60 hours unpaid work and ordered him to pay a £100 victim surcharge.

Judge Craven told him: "I have read about your background and taken into account your lack of previous convictions.

"You made a huge mistake in doing this.

"You have spent some time in prison. If at all sensible, make sure you do not spend any more time for any offence."

Officers recovered a total of 1.29 grams of heroin during the search on January 20, the court was told.

The court heard that police searched his home after receiving information about an unrelated matter concerning his brother, which also involved drugs.

Prosecutor Gareth James told the court that Ali had planned to use the money gained through the sale of the drug to purchase a headstone to put it at his late father's grave.

The court heard that he had no previous convictions but received a caution for heroin possession in December 2013.

Mr James told the court: "The defendant was a street dealer in heroin.

"Therefore this places him in category three with a significant role because of the financial motivation."

Mr Jervis said in mitigation: "His involvement is through naivety. That's the only way I can put it, as far as a lesser role is concerned."

Judge Craven ordered that Ali completes the unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order including supervision.