A dad who allowed his family home to be used by a pair of dealers who were selling more than £10,000 of drugs a week has been spared jail.

Vito Rondinelli let the Londoners, who were also supplying him, stay at his town centre home as they plied their trade in Swindon.

But after hearing the 36-year-old chef was in work, is trying to beat his addiction and had been preyed on by the dealers a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

Rondinelli was arrested at his Witney Street home along with Morgan Meragan, 24, Troye Khatun, 20, on Friday September 16 last year.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how a fourth man was initially detained with drugs as well as the Londoners, who had tried to run away.

As he fled Meragan, who was also found to have a large machete, dropped a phone as he tried to run.

When their mobiles and sim cards were examined it became apparent that they had all been involved in the trade in drugs.

In one text Meragan, who appeared to be in charge of the local operation, boasted of taking £1,500 a day from dealing in Swindon.

Other messages showed addict Rondinelli was encouraging the men to come back and warning them when it was too dangerous.

Mr Meeke said Meragan was the most significant player while it was accepted Rondinelli had been used to provide them a place to stay.

All three pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply hard drugs. Rondinelli also admitted two counts of shoplifting.

Emma Handslip, for Rondinelli, said her client had lived in Whitney Street but had to move out following his arrest.

The court heard he was working as a chef in Cirencester and hoped to get help to move away from drugs.

The court heard that Khatun was on bail at the time having been arrested eight days earlier and found with drugs on him and is now serving two years and seven months.

He had been chased by police after being spotted dealing drugs near the Tesco superstore in Ocotal Way on Thursday September 8.

As he ran he dropped a mobile phone and was found hiding behind a wheelie bin outside an address in Massinger Walk, Walcot.

It was clear he had concealed drugs up his backside and he was kept under observations in custody before he produced 170 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine.

Rob Ross, representing, him, asked the judge to not extend his jail time too much for the latest offences when he was just helping with some phones.

Former Fulham FC youth footballer Meragan was jailed for life in Oxford in February after admitting stabbing two men.

He fled to city after the second attack, committed while he was on early release licence for a knife point robbery in London, and was arrested in Swindon.

He has a number of other previous convictions and was involved in the 2011 riots in the capital and will be dealt with in Oxford by the judge who jailed him for life.

Passing sentence on the other two Judge Tim Mousley QC said "I am quite satisfied you Khatun were bringing drugs down from London to Swindon with Meragan.

"I am also satisfied that while your role in the conspiracy was significant it is less significant than that of Meragan. You Rondinelli provided them with a base to supply the drugs from in Swindon."

He jailed Khatun for three years and Rondinelli for 20 months suspended for 18 months with 60 days rehabilitation activity requirement and 250 hours unpaid work.