Saturday, 16 October 2010

Damien Ramsey, 39, playboy lifestyle of luxury flats, racing horses, designer jewellery and yachts, which was paid for entirely by selling Cocaine

cocaine-dealing friend of boxing star Ricky Hatton, who led a flamboyant, champagne lifestyle in the West, was yesterday stripped of more than £500,000 by a Bristol Judge.

Damien Ramsey, 39, led a playboy lifestyle of luxury flats, racing horses, designer jewellery and yachts, which was paid for entirely by selling "vast" amounts of cocaine and cannabis.

He even splashed out £1,000 on a ten-man Jacuzzi which was installed in a purpose-built shed in the back garden of his home in Bristol.

Officers raided Ramsey's house in April 2009 and recovered Gucci and Breitling watches, diamond rings and an array of other jewellery.

Police also uncovered a secret drugs factory at the address which included 30 cannabis plants, with a street value of £27,500, and 121g of 62 per cent purity cocaine worth more than £4,000.

An investigation found Ramsey also owned a race horse called Oscar and a Fairline Phantom 40 £220,000 yacht, which he moored in Spain. Ramsey, who was pictured holidaying in Spain with his long-standing friend Ricky Hatton, also had 45 diazepam tablets, a knuckle duster and two cans of CS pepper spray.

But his high-life came crashing down in August 2009 when he was jailed for five years for a string of drug offences.

Yesterday's confiscation order hearing at Bristol Crown Court, now means the drug dealer will leave prison unable to capitalise on his life of crime.

Ramsey was ordered to pay back £551,044.96 in total over the next six months, or face a further five years in prison.

Judge Mark Horton said: "This defendant has made crime his business and it is the job of this court to strip him of the receipts of his criminal conduct. It's plain that this criminal conduct has afforded this defendant a very comfortable lifestyle."

Ramsey's house was raided by Avon and Somerset police as part of Operation Atrium on April 8 last year.

As well as his drugs factory police also found a stash of cocaine in his £8,000 Audi A3, which had his £7,000 private plate number plate, D3AME.

A financial investigation found that more than £300,000 in cash payments had been paid into a range of bank accounts in his name.

It is thought Ramsey, who refused to take the stand to explain his assets, had been selling large quantities of cocaine for more than six years.

Dr Kirstie Cogram, the manager of Avon and Somerset Financial Investigation Unit, said: "We are committed to seizing all assets that criminals have gained as a result of crime. It is not acceptable that criminals benefit from illegal activities."

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