A convicted drug dealer has been ordered to pay back more than £9,000.

Maria Suzanne Parnell, 55 previously pleaded guilty to three counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs, and one count of possession with intent to supply class B drugs.

She was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, to 42 months in prison.

She returned to Bournemouth on Monday, February 5, 2024, for a hearing to consider an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

Parnell was found with a substantial amount of drugs and cash after officers stopped a vehicle in Blackmore Road in Shaftesbury, and undertook a search of her vehicle and handbag.

The total amount of cash seized was £850 and the estimated value of the drugs seized was around £12,700.

During the POCA proceedings, the court ruled that the total benefit figure from Parnell’s offending amounted to £53,309.90. The court also ruled that the total available amount was £9,537.66.

Parnell who is from Semley in Wiltshire was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle during the incident which occurred on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, and she was subsequently arrested and charged.

She was given three months to pay the available amount, or she will face an additional prison sentence of six months.

Detective Constable Scott Brimicombe, of the Economic Crime Unit, said: “I hope this case demonstrates that we will use POCA legislation where it is available to take illegal earnings from criminals.

“As with all Proceeds of Crime confiscation orders, the outstanding benefit figure is still owed, and the case will be reviewed in the future to ascertain if the defendant has acquired further assets.”