A GRANDMOTHER has denied being the “second-in-command” of an alleged sophisticated organised crime gang which sold nearly £2 million of cocaine on Newport’s streets.

Angela Collingbourne, 51, is on trial at the city’s crown court accused of conspiracy to supply the class A drug.

Her sons Jerome Nunes and Blane Nunes, along with three other defendants, Tia Donovan-Jones, Jonathan James and Khaleem Hussain, all from Newport, face the same charge.

Prosecutor Andrew Jones has told the jury the gang was a “family-run business” led by convicted drug dealer Jerome at the top and that Blane Nunes and Collingbourne were part of its “management team”.

It is claimed their alleged empire was run from a garage business in the city called NP19 Tyres and they used a mobile phone telephone hotline to sell drugs, used a caravan and several rural stash locations in the Goldcliffe area of the city to store cocaine and that deliveries were captured in audio recordings.

Giving evidence in her defence, Collingbourne was asked by her barrister Richard Barton to tell the jury about her background.

She told the court how she had been at boarding school and was studying to be a home economics teacher in London before she dropped out after meeting boxer Roy Nunes, who was her sons’ father.

Collingbourne said she became estranged from her “racist” parents because they disapproved of her having a relationship with a black man and hasn’t spoken to them for 32 years.

The court heard how she had a “number of convictions”, for shoplifting, driving and a public order offence. She told the jury about her eldest son Aaron, who suffered with type 1 diabetes, who died in 2016 after he was found unresponsive in his cell at Bridgend’s Parc Prison.

When asked about her past employment, the defendant said she had worked as a delivery driver at a Chinese takeaway and undertaken “general office duties” at NP19 Tyres.

Collingbourne also told how she was a grandmother of five.

Referring to the prosecution’s claims about her alleged role in a drugs gang, Mr Barton asked her: “Were you a trusted lieutenant of this organised crime group, the second-in-command?” She replied: “No.”

Blane Nunes, 26, of Jenkins Street, Jerome Nunes, aged 28, of Livingstone Place, Maindee, Donovan-Jones, aged 18, of Brookfield Close, Somerton, Angela Collingbourne, 51, of Jenkins Street, Jonathan James, 29, of Fenner Brockway Close and Khaleem Hussain, 24, of Fleetwood Close, Somerton, all deny conspiracy to supply cocaine.

The trial before Judge Daniel Williams continues.