THE leader of a “high-level” cocaine dealing gang in Thatcham has been ordered to hand over thousands of pounds in drugs cash.
Once, Steven Rackham lived the high life, jetting off to luxury resorts, dressing sharply and driving fast cars.
But last September he swapped the designer gear for standard prison issue clothing as he was jailed for six years for supplying a class A-controlled drug.
And now, when he is released, there will be no cash waiting – thanks to a confiscation order made on Thursday.
At the hearing, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the crown sought to deprive Rackham of any remaining ill-gotten gains he might have.
If he defaults on these payments, Rackham has been told he will face another three months behind bars.
John Upton, for the crown, told Reading Crown Court that analysis of Rackham’s bank account and an inventory of his designer goods had estimated these at nearly £7,000.
Tom Walker, for Rackham, reminded the court: “He admitted the offence on a ‘basis of plea’. This was that, while the indictment stated he had been concerned in the supply of class A drugs since 2013, he only accepted being so concerned for a few months before his arrest.”
He suggested a truer valuation would be £4,830.
However, following a brief adjournment, during which Mr Walker had a further discussion with his client, he returned to tell the court: “Mr Rackham has conceded the argument – and he has conceded the figure.”
The Crown stated that the exact figure owed by Rackham in drug dealing profits was £6,692.60.
However, the court heard, he only had £1,967.28 available to pay after arranging for the sale of items bought with drugs cash.
Her Honour Judge Emma Nott said she would give Rackham three months in which to arrange for payment of the outstanding amount.
During the sentencing hearing last year, Reading Crown Court heard how 27-year-old Rackham, who was living at Loundyes Close, exploited the cocaine habits of others by recruiting them into his organisation to package and sell the drug for him on the streets.
Despite having no legitimate source of income, Rackham’s social media Facebook page was filled with images of him on various expensive, foreign holidays and his wardrobe contained countless pairs of designer trainers.
When he was caught, wads of cash were discovered in his car and a sack containing multiple ‘deal’ bags of cocaine, with a combined street value of £3,000, was found buried nearby.
Nadia Chbat, prosecuting at the time, said: “This was a high-level enterprise and he was in charge.”
His defence counsel said his client, a father-of-two, had been battling his own cocaine addiction but had now begun to address the issue.