A MAN who was peddling hard drugs in the town centre three weeks after being released from prison is back behind bars.

Kevin Dunn was selling bags of heroin to users in the pedestrian areas of The Parade and Canal Walk outside busy shops.

But the 37-year-old did not realise one of his ‘customers’ was an undercover police officer sent in to infiltrate users and dealers.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the sting operation was run from August to October last year.

She said an officer, using the name Stan, was introduced the defendant as ‘Kev’ on Tuesday September 24.

“He gave the officer his mobile number and said he was ‘On 24/7 for light and dark’. That means he would supply heroin and crack cocaine any time,” she said.

The following day Stan called the number he had been given and was directed to Tesco, in the town centre, where he met the defendant.

She said he produced a clear bag from his pocket, which contained five separate packages, and sold him a wrap of cocaine.

The day after he again phoned him and was told to meet him outside McDonalds where he again bought a deal of the drugs.

He called him for a third time on Wednesday, October 2 where he met up with another user on the street waiting to buy from Kev.

Dunn, of Laburnum Road, Pinehurst, pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying class A drugs.

The court heard he has 139 previous convictions, including numerous for burgling houses, but nothing for drug dealing.

“At the time of these offences he had relatively recently been released, I think it was indicated last time some three weeks before, from a three year sentence given at Swindon crown court in May 2012 for dwelling burglary,” Miss Hingston said.

Tony Bignall, defending, said the news his client had been involved in drug dealing came as a surprise bearing in mind his history and that he had just come out of prison.

He said he only had a small amount of stock on him when he was dealing as it is all the people controlling him trusted him with.

“This was something that went on for a short period of time and something he did in desperation having been out of custody for a short time,” he said.

He said it turned out he was doing well with his addiction on the sentence he was serving but did not get off drugs and had little support when he was released.

“The irony of all this is he has now got his problem under control. Though he is still being treated, that is under control with the right medication.”

Jailing him for two years and three months Recorder Alastair Malcolm QC said: “You are aware that these are serious offences and you are well aware of the tariff set down by the sentencing council.

“I hope what you said in the letter is correct and you will be able to kick your habit and on your release not go back to heroin.”