A CHEPSTOW drug dealer who started growing cannabis to pay big garage and veterinary bills has been ordered to repay more than £7,500.

Gloucester Crown Court ruled that Steven Nyland, 52, of Edmond Road, Sedbury, had benefited from crime to the tune of £7,512.40 and he must repay that sum in full within the next six months.

Last year Nyland received a 20-month jail term suspended for two years after he admitted producing the drug at his home and possessing it with intent to supply.

The court was told Nyland started growing cannabis to try to make some money after he was hit by a heavy garage bill for his car and an equally expensive vet's bill for his dog.

The smell of the drug from his garage led to a neighbour calling the police.

Officers arrived at Nyland's home to see him emerging from his garage with his clothes stained green by the cannabis.

One of the reasons for Nyland's financial difficulties at the time was that he had been unable to work normally since an accident at his own electrical engineering business 15 years ago, the court was told.

Julian Kesner, prosecuting, said agreement had been reached between prosecution and defence over the amount of Nyland's benefit under the Proceeds of Crime Act

It had also been agreed that he had more than sufficient assets to repay the amount in full within six months, he said.

Defence solicitor Joe Maloney said Nyland's very supportive family - including his daughter, who was in court - would be helping him get the cash together to make the payment.

"The family are helping dad out," he said. "The family are very very supportive. It is unusual in a case like this. "

Judge Jamie Tabor QC certified the benefit figure and the amount available for confiscation and told Nyland it must be paid on time or he faces an extra four months in jail in default.