A FORMER Dragons RFC player made thousands of pounds selling drugs, a court was told.

Jermaine Taylor, 26, from Newport profited by more than £23,000 dealing cocaine.

He has £5,244.40 in available assets which can be seized, it emerged at a proceeds of crime hearing held at Cardiff Crown Court.

Taylor was ordered to hand over that amount to the authorities within three months of his release from prison or face an extra four months inside in default.

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The talented athlete turned to crime when his dreams of becoming a professional sportsman were frustrated when his promising rugby career was cut short by injury.

Taylor was locked up last March for supplying crack cocaine in Newport.

In mitigation his barrister Julia Cox said then: "There has been a significant change in his personal life.

“He is still a young man and has become a father while in custody.

"The defendant is now looking forward in respect of providing financially through legitimate work.”

She added: "He had a promising rugby career with the Newport Dragons.

“However this was cut short by injury.

"This undoubtedly led to him becoming involved in drugs.”

The defendant was sentenced last year alongside his girlfriend Kirsty Taleb-Williams, 32, of Newport.

The couple were arrested by Gwent Police after they stopped a car she was driving.

She admitted being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine.

Taleb-Williams was jailed for 20 months but her prison sentence was suspended for two years.

She was made the subject of an electronically monitored curfew from between 8pm and 6am for four months.

Taleb-Williams was also back in court for a proceeds of crime hearing alongside Taylor.

She benefited by a paltry £415 from crime and has £322 in available assets.

The defendant has 28 days to pay the full amount or face seven days in prison in default.

Taylor must also pay a £228 victim surcharge while Taleb-Williams will have to hand over £187.