V8 Supercars driver turned nightclub owner is accused of trafficking 106kg of cocaine after his life ‘spiralled out of control’
- Former V8 Supercars driver is charged with trafficking 106kg of cocaine
- Wayne Wakefield, 51, once owned Brisbane nightclub Electric Playground
- The former professional racer is facing at least four years in jail for trafficking
- He has been behind bars since May after breaching bail on two occasions
- His lawyer told Supreme Court Wakefield’s life was ‘spiralling out of control’
A former V8 Supercars driver turned nightclub owner has been charged with trafficking 106kg of cocaine, with his lawyer saying he is ‘spiralling out of control’.
Wayne Wakefield, who had one Supercars win in a nine-year career that also saw him compete in the Bathurst 1000, is facing at least four years in jail for trafficking the illicit drug as he deals with an ‘ongoing struggle’ with addiction.
The 51-year-old, former owner of the Electric Playground nightclub in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, faced the Supreme Court on Thursday with Justice David Jackson saying there is a ‘relatively strong’ change he would be convicted and spend years behind bars, the Courier Mail reported.
Nightclub owner and former professional racing car driver Wayne Wakefield (pictured) is facing at least four years in jail for trafficking 106kilograms of cocaine
Wakefield had one Supercars win in a nine-year career that also saw him compete in the Bathurst 1000
Wakefield, who competed in professional car racing for more than 18 years including nine in the V8 Supercars circuit, opened Electric Playground in 2002.
The former club promoter brought in acts including Red Foo and Roger Sanchez, while DJing at the venue himself.
In the years since retiring he developed a drug addiction and ‘spiralled out of control’, according to his lawyer Jim Coburn.
‘Because of his addiction (he has) committed further offences in about May 2021 which are of a less serious nature,’ Mr Coburn told the court Thursday.
‘He has now experienced his first taste of custody… for a period slightly in excess of four months.’
In the years since retiring he has developed a drug addiction and ‘spiralled out of control’, according to his lawyer Jim Coburn
The court heard details of Wakefield’s alleged communications with a drug trafficking ring.
His lawyer said he had been charged with trafficking cocaine in 2019 and was freed on bail, but had offended twice more.
He was arrested again in May for drug possession, and has been remanded in custody ever since.
Mr Coburn submitted to court that if Wakefield were to be granted bail he would spend a month in a drug rehabilitation centre in rural NSW which offers kayaking and vegetable growing as therapy, paid for with his superannuation.
Crown Prosecutor Rebecca Guppy-Coles argued he should serve a more intensive six-month rehabilitation program in a local clinic which would lessen the risk of him re-offending while on bail.
Wakefield is due back in Brisbane Supreme Court on October 8.