With his fleet of boats, luxury cars and a hot tub in his garden, Michael Welsh was assumed by neighbours to be a living the middle class dream thanks to a thriving double glazing business.

But in reality the flamboyant former company director was the head of a seaside drugs racket which peddled cocaine to pub and clubgoers. As a result of his illegal enterprise Welsh used his dirty money to splash out on a luxury yacht in Spain, a Bayliner speedboat and a racing dinghy as well as jetting off on a string of exotic foreign sailing holidays.

Known locally as ''Mickey Blues Eyes'' he also an extended cottage with five cars in his driveway and a collection of Tag Heur watches and Georgio Armani clothing.

But Welsh's attempt to keep up with the Joneses in the coastal village of Thornton, near Blackpool, Lancs crumbled when police discovered he was funding his Life of Riley with a cocaine trafficking racket he operated across the Fylde Coast and Wyre area with his younger sister Julie, 47.

Father of four Welsh whose double glazing firm folded several years ago would source the drugs 50 miles away from a contact in Bolton before using a team of couriers to bring them to Blackpool where they notched up sales of £13,000 a week.

In June last year police raided a luxury apartment paid for by Welsh on Queens Promenade in Blackpool and officers recovered over 300g of cocaine worth around £50,000 and over £2,800 in cash. In addition, over 260g of amphetamine and more than 12g of cannabis were also seized.

As Welsh began nine years jail, Lancashire Police said he would stripped of his life on the high seas with all the boats being sold off to pay for future crime fighting operations.

Cavendish Press' coverage of the story went in the Daily Star and Sun newspapers plus the Mail online. If you have a story please contact us on 0161 237 1066 or email [email protected] We'd like to hear from you.