A drug runner has been given three months to stay on the straight and narrow – or face a prison sentence.

Gary Steptoe, 41, was one of dozens of low-level dealers and runners snared in a 2019 undercover police operation that saw officers pose as addicts to make test purchases across Swindon.

Prosecutor Ellie Sheahan told Swindon Crown Court on Tuesday that officers called the Ramsay drug line on May 28. An officer, “Steve”, was directed to Stratton and met by Steptoe, who supplied him with crack cocaine and heroin.

Steptoe, of Ringwood Close, Park North, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of supplying a class A drug.

It was his second conviction for drugs supply. In 2012, he was given two years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to supply class A drugs. He was one of 11 men and women involved in a drugs ring that flooded Swindon with heroin and crack cocaine in early 2010.

On Tuesday, Judge Peter Crabtree noted that the previous conviction was of “some relevance”. However, he said the latest offences for which he fell to be sentenced were some 18 months old and acknowledged Steptoe was motivated to address his drug addiction. The starting point was three years’ imprisonment, he said.

The judge deferred sentence for three months, ordering Steptoe live and sleep as directed by the probation service, maintain his engagement with addiction service Turning Point, comply with instructions from the probation service and stay out of trouble. He will be sentenced on April 19.

Nicholas Lee appeared for Steptoe.