A DRUG dealer caught outside a secondary school with hundreds of pounds worth of crack cocaine has been jailed for two and a half years.

Kevin Thomas-Fuller was stopped in a car near Nova Hreod Academy early last year and found with 38 wraps of the class A substance.

The 24-year-old said he had got involved in the trade in hard drugs because his partner was pregnant with their third child and money was tight.

But he claimed that in the 15 months since his arrest he had discovered he can earn better money from legitimate work, and he asked to be spared jail for the sake of his kids.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court police spotted a Vauxhall Astra driving erratically on Akers Way in January, 2018. The vehicle, which had a number of people in it, pulled in to a car park and officers moved in to arrest the defendant as he was walking away.

The court heard he asked police "The car was pulled over because someone reported it because we were dealing drugs from it?" He later claimed he had not meant it.

When he was searched he was found to have 38 wraps of crack, which sell at £10 each, and a mobile phone with texts on it relating to dealing. Messages for the previous four days showed he had been involved moving drugs and collecting money.

Thomas-Fuller, of Leigh Road, Penhill, pleaded guilty to possessing drugs with intent to supply.

Probation officer Michelle James said he told her he had been asked by a friend if he wanted to make money by dealing. He thought about it for a long time before taking up the offer, getting £500 a week for it. “Since being arrested and getting a legitimate job he has realised he could get more money for less hours for a legitimate job,” she said.

He told her he would start with the drugs at 7am and carry on until as late at 1am in the morning.

Alex Daymond, defending, said the defendant's partner was having a baby at the time and they needed money. “She became pregnant so the financial pressures increase. It was then that he became involved in selling the drugs.”

He was is currently taking home about £240 a week from a job as a labourer for a carpenter.

Judge Robert Pawson said he had read letters written by Thomas-Fuller and his partner. “The general tenor is that it is going to have a significant impact on your children in particular if you go to prison today.

“It is no good coming to court and saying to the judge or anyone else that 'this is going to adversely affect my children'. Of course it is going to adversely affect your children. But it is not my decision, the sentencing guidelines. You were dealing crack cocaine. It brings misery to families.”