Melbourne's gangland 'godmother' to spend rest of her life in prison jailed over plot to kill brother-in-law

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The Independent Online

The reign of Melbourne's notorious gangland matriarch Judy Moran is finally over – but in truth the 66-year-old grandmother, who is likely to spend the rest of her life in prison, lost her touch long ago.

Once a glamorous figure keen on designer outfits and shows of public grief, the woman jailed for 26 years for orchestrating the murder of her brother-in-law, Des "Tuppence" Moran is old and sick. With osteoarthritis in both knees and a degenerative condition in her left hip, she needs a motorised wheelchair to get around.

Frailty did not stop her plotting to get rid of Tuppence, whom she detested, although he was the brother of her late husband, Lewis. He was shot seven times in a Melbourne café in June 2009.

The killer, Geoffrey "Nuts" Armour, also received a 26-year sentence. After the killing, Moran patted him on the back and said: "Well done."

The former godmother, who lost two sons, Jason and Mark, in gangland shootings, was defiant to the end. "Sir, you are wrong, I am innocent," she called from the dock after being sentenced.

The judge said she should serve a minimum 21 years. "This was a deliberate and brutal killing," he said " There is no sign of remorse on your part."

Moran – whose two husbands also met violent deaths – was Armour's getaway driver. She concealed the car and hid the gun, together with a wig and jacket that he wore, in a safe. She claimed to have been visiting her son Mark's grave. But police were unconvinced.

Were it not for her age and ill-health, Mr Lasry said, she would have received a longer sentence. As it is, she is likely to die in jail. Already in custody for two years, she spent 19 hours in solitary confinement after driving her motorised wheelchair over the foot of a fellow prisoner who had accused her of receiving preferential treatment.

The jury at her trial heard that Moran believed Tuppence had swindled her out of millions of dollars, her share of the proceeds of drug deals.

The murder plot was hatched after her brother-in-law cut her off from a monthly allowance, the court heard.