A MAN caught growing cannabis plants at his home has been ordered to pay back over £25,000 of the money he made selling drugs.

When police visited Nicholas Doherty’s home in Park Road, Westhoughton, on an unrelated matter on May 25, 2017, they searched the property after being alerted by the strong smell of drugs.

Officers found a total of 33 cannabis plants growing.

Doherty, aged 34, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

In July last year, at Bolton Crown Court, the Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh, sentenced him to 14 months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered that he undertake 180 hours of unpaid work.

Now following a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) investigation, Doherty will have to repay a total of £25,228.98.

At a new hearing at Bolton Crown Court, Mark Friend, defending and Gavin Howie, prosecuting, said the amount had been agreed between the two parties after Doherty's available assets were found to be £102,624.

Judge Timothy Stead said Doherty would have up to three months to pay the total amount or face 12 months in prison in default of payment.

He was also ordered to pay £300 prosecution costs.