The son of the head of an infamous crime family has been jailed after he used his share of his mother’s £1m EuroMillions win to bankroll a heroin deal. Manchester Crown Court heard that Mandy Burgess, 43, the widow of the Manchester “crime boss” Damian Noonan, had won the lottery last year when 100 people became millionaires overnight.
After that, her son Desmond James Noonan used his share of the prize to buy a £350,000 house and new car – and to fund a drug deal. But the 27-year-old was arrested after he and two accomplices were caught with a haul of heroin worth nearly £25,000.
The Noonan family starred in a fly-on-the-wall documentary, titled A Very British Gangster, in 2005. The Noonan name was described in court as “notorious in the city and one that usually instils fear in some communities”.
Noonan’s father was described as a “gangland Mr Big” and was the head bouncer of the Hacienda nightclub in Manchester in the 1990s.
Some other family members (see panel above right) had been convicted of murder and faced accusations of abduction and torture. Mandy Burgess is the aunt of Kiaran Stapleton, who was jailed for life last year for shooting Indian student Anuj Bidve.
Today, Noonan, with his accomplices Graham Beaumont, 29, and Christopher Perry, also 29, admitted possessing class-A drugs with intent to supply.
The court heard that the deal had been Noonan’s attempt to aid his friend Perry who was in debt to rival criminals in Salford and faced “violent reprisals” from gangsters for stealing their cannabis plants.
Noonan was jailed for five years, Perry to four, and Beaumont sentenced to two years prison.
Speaking after the convictions, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Downey of Greater Manchester Police said: “We are working to prove that no one is untouchable and that we will do everything we can to identify and bring to justice organised crime groups and families involved in criminality.”
He added: All three were found in possession of a significant quantity of drugs. These were undoubtedly heading for the streets of Salford, so to recover such a large amount is a great result.
“Heroin in particular is an extremely abhorrent drug that goes hand in hand with other crime, ranging from anti-social behaviour on streets where it is dealt to thefts and robberies committed by addicts.”
Manchester Crown Court had been told that Noonan was caught in April after a black carrier bag containing heroin was discovered underneath the front passenger seat of a car he and his accomplices were driving in Salford.
Today’s conviction was just the latest for Noonan, who was jailed in 2009 for admitting to being involved in two violent assaults with his twin brother Damian Jnr. In one of the attacks, outside a Blackpool nightclub, a man had part of his ear bitten off.
In the family: Partners in crime
His father Damian Noonan was a major figure in Manchester’s criminal underworld before his death in a motorcycle crash in the Dominican Republic in 2003.
His brother Damian Noonan Jnr was jailed for six years and nine months last year for kidnap, causing grievous bodily harm and conspiracy to supply drugs.
His mother’s nephew Mandy Burgess is the aunt of Kiaran Stapleton, who was jailed for life last year for shooting the Indian student Anuj Bidve.
His uncle Dessie Noonan once boasted his gang had “more guns than the police” and was stabbed to death in 2005 during what was described by police as a drug deal gone bad with a Jamaican Yardie gang.