The reign of the notorious Melbourne 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 with a penchant for designer outfits and melodramatic shows of public grief, Moran – jailed for 26 years yesterday for orchestrating the murder of her brother-in-law, Des "Tuppence" Moran – looks 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, though, did not prevent her from 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 suburban Melbourne café in June 2009; the man who pulled the trigger, Geoffrey "Nuts" Armour, also received a 26-year sentence. Moran patted him on the back after the killing, telling him: "Well done."
The murder plot was hatched after her brother-in-law – who once smashed a bottle over her head – cut off a monthly allowance. Amour received a Land Rover for his pains.
Moran, 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, Lex Lasry, who ordered that she serve a minimum 21 years, was unimpressed. "This was a deliberate and brutal killing," he told her. "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 Mark's grave that day; it was the ninth anniversary of his murder. Police were unconvinced.