Desperate gambling addict worked as drug dealer to pay off loan shark

A gambling addict who ‘brought shame on himself’ worked as a drug dealer to pay off a loan shark.

Ricardo Randev was caught with high purity cocaine with a potential street value of £57,000 when police raided his home in Cronton last year. Liverpool Crown Court heard today, April 4, that Randev had long been leading “a double life” keeping his gambling addiction a secret.

As a result of his escalating gambling addiction, the 59-year-old turned into a loan shark out of “desperation”, landing him in £13,000 worth of debt. Randev, of The Ridgeway, Cronton, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

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Judge David Potter said: “You led a double life for many years, outwardly to your family and friends and the local community you appeared to have all the trappings of success in whatever legitimate enterprise you had. But behind all of that was a crippling addiction. to gambling which led you to borrow up to the maximum on various credit cards and to take out various loans with financial institutions.

“This led you into a significant debt including repayments on your own home. Your addiction to gambling continued and was escalating. When you were in a position to obtain money it was all going on gambling and so it was out of desperation you turned to a loan shark.

“He loaned you in the region of £13,000. It was expected to be used to pay off your debts but in the cruel cycle of addiction it was spent on gambling. So you were now indebted to the loan shark who quickly began to enforce the debt by bringing controlled drugs to your house and ordering you to sell them and amounts would be knocked off the £13,000 debt.

“You were involved in supplying to discharge that debt and provide some form of support for the lifestyle you and your family had enjoyed. It came crashing down by the police executing a search warrant and finding drugs and drugs paraphernalia. To your substantial credit you accepted full responsibility for your role in Class A drug dealing.”

Randev was judge to three years in jail as Potter added: “It was clearly a commercial enterprise.”

Paul Blasbery, prosecuting, told the court that police raided the defendant’s home on April 4 last year where they found two blocks of cocaine and 79 bags of the drug, with a purity of 67%. As well as drug supplying paraphernalia they also found benzocaine, a mixing agent and a quantity of cash.

When his mobile phone examined at least one message was able to find what time he would be able to supply drugs. Mohammed Ramzan, defending, said that Randev has no similars and has never been to jail. He is primary carer for his elderly mum and has his own health conditions including deep vein thrombosis.

He said: “He did not have the heart to tell his mum that he was coming to court and may end up in prison. He has brought shame on himself, his elderly mother and his children and they look at him differently.”

Randev had acted out of desperation because of his gambling debts and had held his head in shame when arrested. “He has expressed contrition and remorse,” said Mr Ramzan.

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