A VULNERABLE 19-year-old pressured into working for a county lines gang while serving a sentence in a young offenders' institute has been spared more jail time.

Jamie Bowers, who suffered brain damage in an accident three years ago, found a 'dealer’s kit' had been delivered to his home when he got out on early release.

And fearful of what would happen, because they knew where he lived, he went out selling class A drugs for the gang alongside a 15-year-old boy.

But after hearing Bowers, now 20, wants to move away from the area completely and start a new life in the north of England a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

But the defendant was warned if he did not do as he was told then he would ‘assume he does not want to be rehabilitated’ and he would end up back inside.

Nicholas Fridd, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court two PCSOs in the town centre were keeping an eye on known users in May last year.

As they watched the addict in a town centre two lads pulled up on bikes and a deal appeared to take place before the cyclists rode to a nearby car park.

After a second transaction appeared to take place there the officers moved in and caught Bowers hiding under a car following a short chase.

In his bag he had £300 cash along with 22 wraps of heroin and 21 of crack cocaine as well a as a phone littered with messages relating to the drugs trade.

When they searched his home in the bedroom they found a further 18 wraps of heroin making the total street value of the drugs recovered as up to £760.

He said the messages showed that he had been dealing hard drugs since April - the month he was released from prison

Bowers, of Ely Close, Toothill, pleaded guilty to possessing drug with intent to supply.

He was jailed for three-and-a-half years in May 2017 for a sickening assault on a man in a town centre nightclub.

Emma Handslip, defending, said he had a knife with him when he was arrested and following the case had served a 12-week sentence.

She said he had been targeted by a county lines operation while he was in a young offenders institute and was still just 19 when he got out.

“When he was released there was a package there waiting for him. They had come to his house,” she said.

“They had taken a package from him in custody so they knew where his mum lived, and where his gran lived.

“The package was there waiting for him with a phone. They simply tracked everything that he did.”

He has learning difficulties and autism, she said, having suffered a severe brain injury putting him at extremely low level of intellectual functioning.

She said he was currently homeless but wanted to move to the Sheffield area, which was supported by the probation service.

Passing sentence Judge Peter Crabtree said the offences passed the custody threshold.

“That is for a good reason as anyone who is involved in the supply of class A drugs is involved in conduct that wrecks other people’s lives and undermines the fabric of society.”

He accepted Bowers was being used by the gang.

“I have no doubt from the medical reports I have read that you are a vulnerable individual. The head injury in 2016 has had an impact on your personality. It has caused a number of neuro-cognitive difficulties.”

He imposed an 18-month jail term suspended for two years with 100 hours of unpaid work and 24 hours at an attendance centre.