A MAN who supplied an undercover police officer with drugs just days after being released from prison has been jailed for ten months.

Mark Stanners, who has 160 previous convictions, had been remanded in custody accused of robbing another man of his heroin substitute methadone.

But two weeks after being let out, when the charges against the 44-year-old were dropped, he sold heroin and crack cocaine to the plain clothes cop.

A judge at Swindon Crown Court heard how undercover police infiltrated town centre addicts to try and snare dealers last Autumn.

Claire Marlow, prosecuting, said the defendant was approached by the officer on Wednesday October 23 and, despite asking if he was police, still set up the deal.

Having been convinced he was really another user who needed a fix, he got hold of drugs from a dealer to supply to him.

Stanners, of Downton Road, Penhill, pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying a class A drug.

Martin Wiggins, defending, said that while his client was in prison on remand he had managed to get off heroin and on to methadone.

Having spent five months inside he said the reducing prescription had got to the point where he was close to being completely clean.

But because he was released having not served a sentence he said he had no support and could not get the methadone straight away.

As a result he resorted to getting drugs on the street and was doing so when he was approached by what he thought was a desperate addict.

"He didn't set out when he got up that morning to put himself in a position to be facilitating drug dealing," he said.

"He is embarrassed about what happened to him as it happened so son after he was released from custody. It is a fundamental error of judgement."

He said his client had a long history of shop lifting which was to fund his addiction to drugs, which he is now trying to tackle.

Mr Wiggins urged the court to impose a suspended sentence so he could continue to change his life and get away from drugs and crime.

Jailing him Recorder Sam Qureshi said "You told the probation you are not a drug dealer and were stupid, it was not a regular thing, and you were doing someone a favour.

"You have a history of offending, 160 offences, and all are offences other than drug dealing. A lot of shoplifting and it may have drugs at the back of it, but you are not a drug dealer.

"I am asked to deal with you by way of a suspended sentence but the problem with that is it is a slippery slope. He was a stranger, you decided to help an undercover officer. You suspected he was but you still went ahead with it.

"The problem here is that other people will come along to court, those moving drugs, and say 'I don't deal drugs, I don't use drugs, I was just doing someone else a favour'.

"The court have to clamp down on this from top to bottom from those bringing it into the country to those on streets. Your actions assisted the drug dealer and assisted this selling."