PENHILL lag Lee Mapstone has been jailed for more than two-and-a-half years for dealing drugs for the same County Line linked to a horrific stabbing last Christmas.

Mapstone, who has 58 convictions for more than 130 offences, became emotional as he was taken from the court. Members of Mapstone’s family crowded around the dock as he was taken down by a court officer.

He was jailed for 32 months at Swindon Crown Court after he admitted selling crack cocaine for a County Line nicknamed “Lucky”.

Recorder Alexia Power said: “This, Mr Mapstone, was street dealing, which causes untold misery to those addicted to drugs. Something you know all too well.”

The court heard Mapstone was caught out by a police sting that in recent months has seen undercover officers make test purchases across Swindon.

An undercover officer named in court as “Amy” met a drug user in a park. He gave her details of the Lucky drugs line – a branded telephone number operated by a London-based County Lines gang. Kelmoy Brown, currently serving a 12 year stretch for GBH, was working for the line when he savagely attacked the man whose bedsit he had cuckooed.

“Amy” and the addict were met off Chapel Street, Gorse Hill, by bicycle-riding Mapstone. He handed over three wraps of “white”, the street name for crack cocaine.

Mapstone, 37, now of Gays Place, Upper Stratton, pleaded guilty to supplying a class A drug. It was his second drug trafficking offence since 2007.

In his defence, it was pleaded Mapstone faced difficult family circumstances and had a desire to kick his addiction to drugs.

The judge acknowledged a “heartfelt” letter addressed to her by Mapstone’s daughter explaining the importance of their father-daughter relationship.

Lee Mapstone has a long and troubled history with the police and courts. In September 2017, he went on the run. He was wanted by the police on robbery and kidnap charges that were dropped when the case eventually made it to court.

He was on the run for three months, posing outside London police stations for pictures posted to his Facebook page. In one image, posed outside Paddington Green police station, he added the caption: “Was going to hand myself but had a change of heart.”

In a Christmas card addressed to the police inspector who first appealed for information about his whereabouts, Mapstone wrote: “I hope you have a very Merry Christmas because I certainly will be, mate, anyways, got things to do. From ya pal Lee Mapstone.”

He enclosed a postcard with photos of London tourist spots in his card to Gablecross Police Station and added: “I hope you lot are having a great time because I’m have a great time in London. Love Lee Mapstone.”