No jail for man caught in betting shop drug sting
A 44-year-old man who set up two undercover officers with a young drug dealer has been spared jail.
Steven Button set up the deal with the plain clothes cops when they met up with him in a Manchester Road betting shop.
But after hearing he only played a minor part in the deal, and his wife was keen for him to move away from the drugs world, a judge imposed a suspended sentence.
Claire Marlow, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how two officers, using the names Stan and Cerys, infiltrated town centre drug users last year.
She said on Wednesday November 27 they went to William Hill on Manchester Road and spoke to a man they had seen before, known to them as ‘Steve’, who was Button.
They asked him if he had a number for a dealer called AJ and he said he knew his runner and used Stan’s phone to call him.
“He spoke to him and asked if he could sort his brother out with two dark. He told them to go to The Manor pub near Asda Wal-Mart,” she said.
The officers then met up with a youth in a purple hoodie who supplied them with two wraps of heroin for £40.
Miss Marlow said the officers called the teenager, Liam Smith, 18, again the following day and bought heroin and cocaine.
“The officer asked if that was the normal place to meet him and he said ‘Yes, spread the word’,” she said.
Button, of Home Farm, Highworth, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
The court was told he had a history of offending but only one drugs offence of simple possession and nothing for the past 11 years.
Rob Ross, defending, said “Mr Button feels he has been foolish: he accepts how foolish he has been.
“I think he has learned a lesson from it. I think he would benefit from some supervision.”
Judge Tim Mousley QC imposed an 18-month jail term suspended for 18 months with a 12-month supervision order and a three month night time curfew.
Smith, of Beech Avenue, Pinehurst, pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying class A drugs and will be sentenced later.