A HEAVILY-tattooed drug dealer who sold heroin and crack to undercover police officers has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Swindon Crown Court heard former addict Blair Egerton, who was badly injured in a car crash, was in such a bad way last year that he had begged his lawyers to get his case listed so he could be sent inside.

The 33-year-old, who is now on a prescription for a class A drug substitute and has rekindled his relationship with his family, was yesterday jailed for four years and six months after he admitted supplying class A drugs and conspiracy to supply.

Noting the bag Egerton had brought into the dock with him, Judge Jason Taylor QC said: “I hope you do use your time in custody effectively and productively and it is obvious you have come prepared today.”

Blair Egerton's Wiltshire Police custody shot

Undercover operation

Egerton was the latest Swindon dealer to be snared in a large-scale undercover police operation in 2019, which saw officers pose as drug addicts to make test purchases across the town. Dozens of dealers have been jailed or handed suspended sentences for selling to the undercover officers.

Prosecutor Robert Harding told the court Egerton had been working for two drug “lines”: the Blair line, apparently not named after the defendant, and the Digz line.

He was involved in three exchanges of heroin and crack cocaine in August, September and November.

The last handover, on November 20, saw the Moredon man hand the drug wraps to another who gave them to the officer. The Crown pointed to that as evidence of Egerton playing a more significant role in the operation.

The court heard the defendant had 42 offences on his record, although none for drug supply. He was on police bail when the last drug deal was made.

Mitigation

Egerton, of Manor Crescent, admitted four counts of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and two counts of supply.

Rob Ross, mitigating, said his client had suffered from a long-standing drug addiction. By 2018, he started to use more heroin “which was when his life completely spiralled out of control”. He got into debt and felt the only way he could pay it off was by dealing drugs.

At the time the offences were committed in 2019 he had “burned his bridges” with his family and was “pretty much homeless”. At the end of the year he was badly injured in a car accident.

Mr Ross said: “When he came out of hospital he continued to use drugs, was still homeless, lost contact with probation in July last year and, frankly, has been trying to find a way over the past few months of getting himself onto an even keel.” Last year, he was “in a very sorry state, he was almost begging to get into court so he could go into custody and start to do something about his drug addiction”.

Since then, however, he had been put on a prescription for a heroin substitute and was reconciled with family.