A DRUGS runner caught peddling hard drugs for two different County Lines gangs has been spared jail.

Craig Murray, 42, was given a chance by a Swindon judge in June to stay on the straight and narrow or face a spell inside. And when a court heard yesterday he had kept up his side of the bargain he was given a 20-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Earlier this summer, Swindon Crown Court was told by prosecutor Colin Meeke 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 happened to be near the pub and the officer, Yasmin, took down his phone number.

She called the Blair line again six days later, on August 28, and was directed to a alleyway behind Faringdon Road. Murray cycled up on his bike and handed over a wrap of heroin and two of crack cocaine in exchange for £20.

Two months later, the defendant twice supplied crack cocaine to an undercover officer called Dylan, working for drugs line ‘Digz n Bee’, meeting the officer near Faringdon Road on one occasion and elsewhere in the town on the other. Other police officers photographed the handover.

Murray, of no fixed address, admitted four counts of supplying class A drugs. He had more than 80 previous offences on his record but had no convictions for drugs supply.

Rob Ross, defending, said earlier this year that his client had been working with Turning Point to address longstanding addictions to class A drugs.

The lawyer told the court he had represented Murray since the man first started offending and this was the first time he had taken steps to tackle his problems.

Under the conditions of his deferred sentence, Judge Peter Crabtree ordered he 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.

Murray was one of dozens of dealers and runners caught up in an undercover police operation last year that saw officers pose as addicts in an effort to understand the scale of dealing in Swindon.

Det Insp Paul Franklin told the Adver at the time: “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.”