A DRUGS runner has been given three months to stay on the straight and narrow.

Craig Murray was one dozens of dealers and runners caught in an undercover police operation that saw officers pose as drug addicts establish the scale of drug gangs’ dealing in Swindon.

Appearing before the crown court in person dressed in a smart shirt and shorts, the 42-year-old, of no fixed address, admitted four counts of supply class As in August and October.

Prosecutor Colin Meeke said an undercover officer, named in court only as Yasmin, had called the Blair drugs line on August 22. She met another dealer behind The Glue Pot pub in the Railway Village. Murray was there and the officer got his phone number.

Six days later, on August 28, she again called the Blair line and was sent to a lane behind Faringdon Road. Murray arrived on his bike and handed over a wrap of heroin and two of crack cocaine in exchange for £20.

In October, the defendant twice supplied crack cocaine to an undercover officer called Dylan, working for drugs line 'Digz n Bee', meeting the cop near Faringdon Road on one occasion and elsewhere in the town on the other. The drugs exchange was photographed by police.

While Murray had 34 convictions on his record for 88 offences, defence solicitor Rob Ross pointed out this was his first conviction for dealing controlled drugs.

Mr Ross said his client had long been addicted to class A drugs, but was working with addiction service Turning Point. He had recently moved in with his sister in Faringdon, away from former associates in Swindon.

He had represented Murray since he first started offending and this was the first time he had taken steps to address his issues, the solicitor said.

Judge Peter Crabtree deferred sentence for three months, ordering the man work with Turning Point, be assessed for a drug rehabilitation order, live and sleep at his sister’s home, keep in touch with the probation service and commit no more offences.

Earlier this year, the detective in charge of last year's undercover operation said he had been shocked at the brazenness of the County Lines gangs.

Det Insp Paul Franklin told the Adver: “It was bad in Swindon at that time. The market seemed to be more open than we thought.

“People were being quite overt. They weren’t taking precautions.”