A MILLIONAIRE drug dealer who claimed he was 'entrapped' by a police informant has failed in a bid to clear his name.

Paul Yearsley, aged 49, served part of a five years and four months prison sentence imposed at Manchester Crown Court in 2011 for plotting to supply cannabis.

Yearsley, who was released from jail in May 2013, lives in a £4million house in Chorley New Road, Heaton, he named Knowsley Manor.

It boasts a cinema, a bar lounge and swimming pool and was featured in glossy society magazine Lancashire Life in an article entitled 'Living The Dream'.

The former council worked was placed under surveillance in 2008 by the-then Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) after they became suspicious of his lavish lifestyle.

He was in receipt of a small town hall disability pension since retiring from a council job aged 28 but claimed he had amassed a fortune from car dealing and property development.

In December 2009, Yearsley was being secretly watched as he went to Middlebrook Retail Park in Horwich to meet two drugs couriers.

The three were caught on CCTV in the Premier Inn car park before they drove to the Thatch and Thistle pub in Chorley Road, where Yearsley oversaw the handover of 120 kilos of cannabis resin packed into four bales.

SOCA officers swooped and the trio were arrested.

Yearsley was jailed at Manchester Crown Court after admitting conspiracy to supply class B drugs.

By the time he was given a confiscation order in 2013 that sought to recover £340,000 of his ill-gotten gains he had already emerged from prison.

Last year Yearsley applied to the Court of Appeal to overturn his conviction.

His lawyers argued his conviction was potentially an 'abuse of process' because they claimed the married father-of-four was only persuaded to participate in the drugs deal by a police informant, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Yearsley's legal team said there was extensive evidence that suggested that the man who had recruited Yearsley into crime was acting with law enforcement.

Their evidence included the fact that the man was not prosecuted for his role in a previous drugs plot despite alleged strong evidence against him.

If the man was an informant, then the prosecution should have disclosed the fact before the trial, Yearsley's lawyers insisted.

But giving judgment, Lord Justice Elias, Mrs Justice Thirlwall and Judge James Burbidge QC rejected the appeal bid.

Lord Justice Elias said: "The question is whether, in the light of the background, we should take the view that this matter should now be re-opened. We don't think it should.

"Much of the material relies on assertions by Yearsley, who has been found to be deceitful and untruthful on previous occasions."

The appeal bid was rejected and Yearsley's conviction - and ultimately his confiscation order - was upheld.