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

A drug addict who “covered himself in shame” 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 searched his home in Cronton last year. Liverpool Crown Court heard today, April 4, that Randev had long been leading ‘a double life’ by keeping his gambling addiction a secret.

Due to his growing addiction to gambling, the 59-year-old turned to a loan shark out of ‘desperation’, which landed him £13,000 in debt. Randev, of The Ridgeway, Cronton, pleaded guilty to possession of 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, friends and the local community you seemed to have all the trappings of success in whatever legitimate business you had. But behind it all was a crippling addiction to gambling that caused you to borrow up to the max on various credit cards and take out various loans from financial institutions.

“This led you to significant debt, including repayments on your own home. Your gambling addiction continued and escalated. When you were able to get money, it was all about gambling and so it was out of desperation that you turned to a shark loan.

“He loaned you around £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 home and ordering you to sell them and the amounts would be written off the £13,000 debt.

“You participated in the supply to pay off this debt and provide some form of support for the lifestyle that you and your family had enjoyed. Crash by police executing a search warrant and finding drugs and drug paraphernalia. To your credit, you have accepted full responsibility for your role in the Class A drug trade.”

Randev was sentenced to three years in prison as Judge Potter added: ‘It was clearly a business venture.

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 drugs, with a purity of 67 %. In addition to the drug supply paraphernalia, they also found benzocaine, a mixing agent, and an amount of money.

Upon examination of his cell phone, at least one message was found indicating what time he could supply drugs. Mohammed Ramzan, defending, said Randev had no similar convictions and had never been to jail. He is the primary caregiver for his elderly mother and has his own health issues, including deep vein thrombosis.

He said: “He didn’t have the heart to tell his mum he was coming to court and he might end up in jail. He shamed himself, his elderly mother and his kids and they look at it differently.”

Randev had acted out of desperation because of his gambling debts and kept his face shameful during his arrest. “He expressed his contrition and remorse,” Ramzan said.

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