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Essex: Two women jailed for their role in gun-running gang

File picture of guns taken out of circulation by the Metropolitan Police.

File picture of guns taken out of circulation by the Metropolitan Police.

Two women from Harwich are among a gang of seven jailed for running a criminal network supplying guns and ammunition.

Caroline Hunter-Mann-Purdy, 64, of Harwich Road, HarwichCaroline Hunter-Mann-Purdy, 64, of Harwich Road, Harwich

Ringleaders Paul Alexander and Carl Gordon met at HMP Swaleside, Kent, where both were serving life sentences.

Using illegally-held mobile phones smuggled into the prison, Alexander’s knowledge of firearms and Gordon’s links to organised crime, the pair got round the law by arranging people on the outside to legally buy obsolete weapons and then converting them to live guns, making them illegal.

Despite ammunition no longer being made for the weapons Alexander, a former Harwich resident, knew how to produce it and shared his knowledge with members of the gang.

Yesterday (Friday June 6), Alexander, 58, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply firearms with intent to endanger life. He was sentenced to 16 years, to be served after his current prison sentence ends next year.

Lullabell Purdy, 26, of Harwich Road, HarwichLullabell Purdy, 26, of Harwich Road, Harwich

His wife Caroline Hunter-Mann-Purdy, 64, of Harwich Road, near Harwich admitted conspiracy to supply firearms and was sentenced to seven years, while his step-daughter Lullabell Purdy, 26, also of Harwich Road, near Harwich, pleaded guilty to money laundering offences and was sentenced to 300 hours of community service.

Two other gang members admitted conspiracy charges, while a further two were convicted after a trial of conspiracy to supply firearms and money laundering charges.

In total the seven received more than 54 years in prison after the hearing at Woolwich Crown Court.

Gordon, 27, of HMP Belmarsh, is due to be sentenced at a later date.

Paul Alexander, 58, of HMP BelmarshPaul Alexander, 58, of HMP Belmarsh

The convictions came after a Metropolitan Police investigation, Operation Propus, was launched in 2011 when intelligence came to light of the mobile phones.

Det Insp Richard Mills, from the Met Police’s Special Intelligence Section, said: “During the period that Gordon and Alexander met in prison, they effectively became business partners, dealing in deadly weapons and ammunition.

“The firearms and ammunition they converted had the potential to cause great harm on our streets.

“This was a complex investigation by the Met’s Special Intelligence Section, which is committed to targeting criminal networks and bringing a successful prosecution. I would like to pay tribute to the detectives who have worked tirelessly to see this case to its successful conclusion.”

Pigs Gone Wild sculptures being delivered to the streets of Ipswich

This week Suffolk has seen pigs pop up around town, James May officially unveil a new motorcycle museum and ITFC begin their pre-season training. To catch up on all the latest, watch this week’s news in video.

Centennial commemoration of the start of the battle of the Somme at Long Melford War Memorial at Holy Trinity Church.

The great-nephew of a Long Melford soldier who fought at the Battle of the Somme described the “humbling” experience of blowing on the same whistle his ancestor used to send men over the top.

More funding is needed to help people suffering with mental ill health, Labour says

Labour has joined calls demanding more money be made available for mental health services in Suffolk, warning that reported cuts of £200,000 will have “severe consequences” for sufferers in the county.

Rudimental were at Thetford last night

Two years ago Rudimental were performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury when it was powered down because an electrically charged storm was exploding overhead.

Ready for the start: The cars lined up in front of a large crowd ahead of the National Hot Rod World Championship race at the 44th Annual SpedeWeekend at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK on 28 June 2015. Picture: Steve Waller

The draw of high action, high speed motorsport will be bringing fans of oval motorsport to Foxhall Stadium this weekend for the 45th annual SpedeWeekend.

Dave Lock decompressing on the line

Scuba divers searching the first British warship to sink in the First World War have made a “remarkable” discovery.

Police and ambulance crews attended the crash.

A man in his 60s was taken to hospital after he was involved in a collision between a car and a bus in Essex.

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