A GRANDAD has been ordered to pay back more than £5,100 of drugs money.
William Ryan, 63, was put behind bars for two-and-a-half years in June after officers discovered cocaine worth £9,200 when they raided his Thorney Close home.
A stash of cannabis and £4,405 in cash was also found at the 63-year-old’s home.
Ryan, of Toronto Road, Thorney Close, admitted possession of cocaine with intent to supply and possession of cannabis.
The dealer, whose first conviction for a drugs offence was almost 40 years ago and who was jailed for 10 years in 1988 for conspiracy to supply, initially claimed he had been stashing the drugs for someone else.
But in court, he eventually confessed he had turned to dealing in a bid to clear the debts racked up on credit cards, bank loans and people.
It was claimed at Newcastle Crown Court that he had been dealing for just six weeks and had planned on stopping when he wiped his £10,000 of debts.
The court heard Ryan had been a carer to his wife, who is in ill health, and he struggles with health difficulties of his own.
Now Ryan has been slapped with a confiscation order and made to pay back his ill-gotten gains.
The order means he must pay back £5,132 made from drug dealing.
It comes with a benefit figure of almost £70,000 and follows an investigation by Sunderland Financial Investigators.
Police are hoping this will serve as a warning to other criminals operating across Wearside.
Neighbourhood Inspector Cheryl Warcup, said: “We will continue to strip criminals of the assets they gain through criminal activity.”
Anyone with any information about people suspected of being involved in criminal activity should contact Northumbria Police on 03456 043 043 ex 69191 or alternatively Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.