‘Gangster gran’, 51, was ‘second in command’ of £2.5m cocaine gang
‘Gangster gran’, 51, who was ‘second in command’ of £2.5m cocaine gang behind cover of family-run garage is jailed for six years after being caught counting drug money on CCTV
- Angela Collingbourne, 51, was caught on CCTV counting thousands of pounds
- She was part of gang headed by her sons which supplied up to £2.5m of cocaine
- Collingbourne has been jailed for six years and was the ‘second-in-command’
A ‘gangster’ grandmother has been jailed for six years for being the second-in-command of a drug-running gang headed by her sons – and run under the cover of a family garage business.
Angela Collingbourne, 51, was caught on CCTV counting thousands of pounds at the garage in Newport, Gwent, even though only a handful of cars were being repaired there.
She was found to be part of a 16-strong gang, headed by her sons, which was caught supplying up to £2.5m worth of cocaine.
Grandmother Angela Collingbourne has been jailed for six years for being the second-in-command of a drug gang headed by her sons
Collingbourne, 51, was caught on CCTV counting thousands of pounds at the garage in Newport, Gwent
The grandmother said she turned to crime when she was shunned by her parents for falling in love with a boxer.
Collingbourne told how she had been at boarding school studying to be a home economics teacher in London before she dropped out – after meeting Roy Nunes.
She claimed she became estranged from her ‘racist’ parents because they disapproved of her having a relationship with a black man and she hasn’t spoken to them for 32 years.
The court heard how she had a ‘number of convictions’ for shoplifting, driving and a public order offence.
Collingbourne’s sons were both jailed too. Blaine Nunes, 26 (left), was jailed for 14 years, while Jerome Nunes, 28 (right), was jailed for 12
It also discovered that she eventually became responsible for managing the gang’s funds.
She was also in charge of facilitating and maintaining control of the telephone line which counted 4,000 customers.
Prosecutor Andrew Jones said: ‘Collingbourne was responsible for the control of the funds and facilitated and maintained control of the main source of trading.
‘She was also responsible for ensuring money from drug dealing was paid when both of her sons were in prison.
Tia Donovan-Jones (left) and Liam Slade (right) were arrested alongside the family members and were both part of the cocaine racket
‘She was a middle tier manager of the organisation.’
Collingbourne was sentenced to six years in jail alongside seven co-defendants who were jailed for a total of 31 years.
The grandmother denied being ‘a trusted lieutenant of this organised crime group, the second-in-command’ – but was convicted by a jury.
Richard Barton, defending, said: ‘She is clearly and intelligent woman. But she made bad choices in her life when she suffered the racist views of others.’
Mr Barton also argued that she was not the ‘matriarch of some organised crime gang’.
Joshua Southall (left) and Thomas Jones (right) were also part of the 16-strong gang who were rumbled after a police investigation
But Judge Daniel Williams told her: ‘You took no responsibility for your actions or those of your criminal family.
‘During your trial you portrayed yourself as a victim, fighting bigotry and injustice – but the jury saw through you.
‘You dismissed your crimes as evidence of your own victim-hood.
‘You were counting and banking the vast profits from this operation.
‘You knew many of those involved and the scale of the it. You began to believe that you were unstoppable.’
The gang was cracked in a massive police investigation called Operation Finch which uncovered Collingbourne’s role.
The gang was caught supplying up to £2.5m worth of cocaine. Khaleen Hussain (left) and Matthew Croft (right) were also jailed
They were arrested following a year-long police investigation which involved surveillance and secret recordings.
Collingbourne’s sons were also jailed – Jerome Nunes, 28, for 12 years and Blaine Nunes, 26, for 14.
Rhys Jones has also been jailed for being part of the gang
At a previous hearing, Judge Williams told them: ‘Each of you played a role trading in a vile drug.
‘One of the most depressing features is that Jerome Nines was able to direct the operation from his prison cell using hidden mobile phones.’
Sixteen people linked to the gang have now been jailed for more than 90 years.
Collingbourne, from Newport, and the seven gang members were sentenced Newport Crown Court after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply a Class A drug.
Iwan Jenkins, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: ‘This operation uncovered significant amounts of cocaine being sold on the streets of Newport.
‘The group was well organised with each person having their own role to play. The recovered drugs were of high purity.’
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