An Eldene drugs line cut crack and heroin in a children’s bedroom, Swindon Crown Court heard.

When police raided a house in the east Swindon suburb last year they found three screaming children along with almost £40,000 worth of class-A drugs.

Aaron Betterton, 20, and Jack Parfitt, 19, have now been sentenced to four-and-a-half years and four years and three months in a young offenders' institute respectively for their part in the notorious Eldene line.

The men, who had been caught selling drugs to undercover police officers in August and September, were arrested as police swooped on the Bowleymead terrace in November last year.

The case can now be reported after a Swindon judge partially lifted reporting restrictions.

Jailing the men early last week, Judge Peter Crabtree said: “Anyone who is involved in the supply of class A drugs is involved in serious criminality whatever their role that wrecks lives and undermines the fabric of society.”

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Aaron Betterton and Jack Parfitt Picture: WILTSHIRE POLICE

Prosecutor Alec Small told the court Betterton and Parfitt had been working for the Eldene drugs line initially as runners.

Betterton had sold heroin or crack cocaine to undercover officers posing as addicts on four days in August, handing drug deals over from a bag estimated to contain 50 or more wraps.

Parfitt had dealt on two days in late August and early September. He was given the nickname “kid” by the officers as a result of his youthful appearance, while another drug addict was said to have referred to the Eldene dealers as the “youngens”.

The pair were later arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs and released under investigation.

By the time police raided a house in Eldene on November 13, the pair seemed to have taken on more responsibility within the line.

Inside the house, officers found three children. Drugs, a knife and cutting agents pointed to drugs having been cut up and bagged on a table inside one of the children’s bedrooms. Weapons, including a samurai sword, were also found.

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Drugs and weapons were found inside the Bowleymead home Pictures: WILTSHIRE POLICE

There were packages of heroin and crack cocaine scattered throughout the house – including bags stashed in the loft and another thrown out of a window. When he was searched at the police station, Parfitt had three parcels of crack cocaine in his underwear - with those drugs estimated to be worth almost £6,500.

The combined value of the drugs uncovered by the police in the raid was put at £36,050. They also found the Eldene drugs line phone used to send bulk advertising text messages.

In interview, Parfitt told detectives he’d been at the house to “chill”. He didn’t know why he’d put drugs in his underpants, claiming he would have thrown the crack cocaine away. Mr Small said that account was not accepted by the Crown.

Betterton, who answered no comment to questions after he was arrested in the raid, was said to have been distressed and worried for his mum.

Mr Small said: “It is quite clear they are not in control of this line and there is someone above them who they are scared of.”

READ MORE: Police react as Eldene drug gang members jailed

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The Eldene line runners sold drugs to addicts in underpasses like this one Picture: ADVER PHOTOGRAPHER

Rob Ross, for Betterton, said his client had made admissions to supplying drugs and entered early guilty pleas to the charges.

He said Betterton had been “fairly easy prey” for older criminals. There had been “sinister elements in the background” when he was dealt with in 2018 while still a youth for dealing drugs.

“It isn’t simple for young people to simply turn themselves around without the right sort of assistance and there hasn’t been the right sort of assistance,” Mr Ross said.

His client had a talent for mathematics and had plans to gain qualifications while in prison. He was hopeful of gaining a trade while inside.

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Police raided a house on Bowleymead Picture: ADVER PHOTOGRAPHER

Emma Handslip, for Parfitt, echoed points made by Mr Ross. “This is something that once you’re in you’re in and you either end up in prison or something far worse happens. Once that choice is made that’s it. They’re involved and they can’t get out but for being in prison.”

Her client had a young daughter but had been unable to see her while on remand during the pandemic. He was remorseful and still young.

Both advocates said there had been delay in the case. Their clients denied cuckooing the property in which they were found.

Betterton, of Bowleymead, and Parfitt, of Rose Street, each admitted being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and supplying class A drugs.

The court heard Parfitt had been selling drugs within days of being given a youth rehabilitation order for shooting a love rival with a BB gun last January.