A young man managed to sell crack cocaine to an undercover cop on the first and only time he ran drugs, a court heard.

Kyle Ricketts, 20, sold the three wraps of the class A drug on behalf of a County Line understood to be called #SCS – adopting the initials made famous by the sofa brand.

Unfortunately for the Swindon youngster, the man to whom he sold the drugs in Swindon town centre on November 13 was not the addict he appeared to be but an undercover police officer codenamed Arthur.

He was arrested and, when interviewed, admitted making a single deal on behalf of another. But he denied any involvement in the illegal drugs trade.

In a prepared statement in his interview he said: “This is the only day in my life I’ve held class A drugs.” He had taken the cash but immediately handed it on to another.

Emma Handslip, defending, said her client was complying well with an existing community order and a pre-sentence report had found there was a realistic prospect of him being rehabilitated. “He is proving to the court he can do that.”

He had previous convictions for violence, but no record for drug crime.

Ricketts, of Jenni Manners Court, Westlea, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to supplying class A drugs.

Judge Jason Taylor sentenced the man to 20 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months. He must abide by a six month curfew.

The judge said: “When I take a step back all in all the picture presented is someone who in my judgement has a real prospect of rehabilitation and strong mitigation.”

Ricketts was the latest to be snared in a major undercover operation by Wiltshire Police to discover the full spread of County Lines drug gangs in Swindon.

In February, when 15 alleged dealers caught in the same undercover operation were before the courts, Wiltshire drugs squad chief Det Insp Paul Franklin accused the gang masters who used children and young people to peddle illicit drugs of being immoral.

The detective said: “It is no secret that we are continuing to see young people caught up in the misery that county lines brings to our communities.

“These gangs will often exploit young people and promise them money and other expensive items in exchange for them doing their dirty work and acting as runners – delivering class A drugs to users in our community."