A drug dealer who has £67,000 left from an industrial accident payout has been ordered to hand over £7,500 within a month or face six months in jail.

Burnley Crown Court heard that Darren Dearden, 20, from Bacup, had been using cannabis before the accident but ‘ramped up’ his consumption and interest after it because of the pain from the injury.

He was said to have been supplying others to make cash or get drugs for himself cheaper or for nothing.

Dearden, a father-to-be who is setting up a car valeting franchise in Rochdale, now has two prison terms hanging over him and must do what a judge says to keep his freedom.

Dearden, then of Co-operation Street, admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply, last December.

He was given 16 weeks in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for a year and 200 hours unpaid work.

Judge Graham Knowles, QC, also fined him £7,500 and gave him 28 days to pay up or he will face 28 days behind bars.

Sarah Statham, prosecuting, said police raided the defendant’s home and found two sets of electronic scales, drugs with a street value of £350, empty snap bags and £160 cash.

Supply-related text messages were on his mobile telephone including one which read ‘Just in Bacup. Will you do me a 20?’ from someone wanting a £20 bag of cannabis.

The defendant had nine previous convictions, including one for cannabis.

Simon Gurney, defending, said Dearden suffered a very substantial injury in the accident in 2009 and was due to have further surgery later this year.

He stopped using cannabis immediately on his arrest and had not used it since.

The defendant intended to use his accident compensation to invest in his business and to buy a home for himself and his partner.

Sentencing, Judge Graham Knowles QC told Dearden he had been ‘very, very stupid’ and the defendant had been pursuing a ‘ridiculous waste of a life’.