Essex

Essex mother and daughter deny gun plot

A 63-year-old mother and her daughter from Essex plotted to convert antique guns into deadly weapons to sell to the criminal underworld, a court was told.

Caroline Hunter-Mann-Purdy and Lullahbelle Purdy, 25, of Harwich, deny conspiracy to possess firearms.

Woolwich Crown Court was told Mrs Hunter-Mann-Purdy's husband Paul Alexander, 57, "ran the show" from his HMP Swaleside jail cell in Kent.

Mr Alexander also denies the conspiracy to possess firearms.

Mrs Hunter-Mann-Purdy and Ms Purdy, both of Harwich Road, were part of a group that plotted to convert antique or obsolete .44 calibre firearms into deadly weapons, the court was told.

Converting old guns

The jury of three men and nine women was told that in 2009 Mr Alexander, a former Army Royal Engineer, admitted similar offences and charges including possessing firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

He admitted producing 1,200 rounds of ammunition by himself.

Victor Temple QC, prosecuting, said Mr Alexander was "undeterred" by that conviction.

He orchestrated the new plot, between January and October 2011, to buy and convert 100-year-old guns with the help of his fellow inmate and "right hand man" Carl Gordon, 26, said Mr Temple.

The prosecutor said Mrs Hunter-Mann-Purdy and her daughter "knew of his previous offences".

Conspiracy charge

Items unearthed during raids on properties connected to the investigation included: a Winchester .44 unprimed shell case; 900 brass primers and 400 brass primers "live and suitable for use in a .44 cartridge", the court heard.

Mr Gordon, Mr Alexander, his wife, Ms Purdy, Leon Brown, 30, of Daisy Road, Canning Town, London, Emma Jones, 25, of Oriel Drive, Uxbridge, and Mr Gordon's long term partner Sherika Abbott-Holder, 26, of Malcolm Court, Ealing, London, all face four charges.

They deny conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to enable others to endanger life; conspiracy to possess ammunition with intent to enable others to endanger life; conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons and conspiracy to acquire ammunition without a firearms certificate.

Ms Jones also denies possession of a .44 revolver.

Ms Purdy and Ms Abbott-Holder also deny transferring criminal property, namely cash.

The case continues.

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