Gangster gran who ran £2,500,000 cocaine racket ordered to pay back just £2,800
A gangster granny who ran a cocaine racket worth £2.5 million behind the cover of her family garage business has been ordered to pay back just £2,800.
Angela Collingbourne, 52, was ‘second-in command’ of a 16-strong drugs gang headed by her sons in a large-scale operation.
The dealer was jailed for six years after being found guilty of drugs offences on the streets of Newport in Wales by a jury.
But a Proceeds of Crime hearing ruled she only had to pay back £2,800 – despite being told she had made £21,011.42 personally as a result of her offending.
Sixteen gang members dealt cocaine out of a garage called NP19 Tyres. Video footage shows thousands of pounds passing through the garage – but only a handful of cars were being repaired.
The court heard how Collingbourne turned to crime she was shunned by her parents for falling in love with a black boxer.
She told how she had been at boarding school studying to be a home economics teacher in London before she dropped out after meeting boxer Roy Nunes.
Collingbourne said she became estranged from her ‘racist’ parents because they disapproved of her having a relationship with a black man and hasn’t spoken to them for 32 years.
Newport Crown Court heard how she had a ‘number of convictions’ for shoplifting, driving and a public order offence.
But Collingbourne ran a mobile telephone trading line with 4,000 customers for drugs.
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. She was a middle-tier manager of the organisation.’
Sixteen people linked to the gang have now been jailed for more than 90 years.
Collingbourne and the seven gang members were found guilty of conspiracy to supply a Class A drug and were jailed for a total of 31 years.
The gang was cracked in a massive police investigation called Operation Finch, which involved a year-long police investigation with surveillance and secret recordings.
Collingbourne’s sons were jailed – Jerome Nunes, 28, for 12 years and Blaine Nunes, 26, for 14.
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.’
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.’
He argued she was not the ‘matriarch of some organised crime gang’.
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 victimhood.
‘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.’
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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