A CONVICTED drug dealer has been ordered to hand back more than £22,500 of his cash.

Keith Boardman, of Leigh Road, Hindley Green, had earlier pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court of possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possession of amphetamine with intent to supply.

He was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment on September 27, 2013.

The total value of drugs seized was £18,362.47 but the court found he had benefited to the tune of £157,992.95 and he had assets totalling £22,580.03 Boardman, aged 45, was among a group of three people arrested in Wigan in April 2012 following a police operation codenamed Harewood.

He was stopped as he drove his Fiat Punto on Kirkhall lane, Leigh, on April 3 and officers found drugs stashed in the vacant passenger airbag hold.

Officers then searched two houses in Leigh associated with Boardman and found a quantity of cannabis and amphetamines as well as drugs paraphernalia.

Boardman, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, has today, Friday, been ordered to pay back £22,500 within six months or face a further 12 months in prison.

PC Peter Jackson, based at Wigan, said: "Boardman is not only in jail for his crimes, but he now knows that, when he comes out, we have made more than a significant dent in his finances.

“He also knows that, if he fails to pay up in time, he will have to serve an even longer sentence."