Gang boss brothers ‘bit off eyelids’ as they controlled massive UK drug empire

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    A pair of brothers who once ruled an English city with a reign of terror dished out some of the most brutal punishments against their enemies.

    The Gunn brothers were notoriously brutal gang leaders and the undisputed top dogs in the Nottingham drugs scene before their downfall. When they were taken off the streets, crime in the city fell by a staggering 73%.

    One of the pair, Colin, is holed up in the slammer where he’s serving a life sentence – but David seems to have turned a corner and has urged wannabe criminals to take a different path.

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    Bodybuilder Colin was well known for his evil methods. On one occasion, a bloke had his hand nailed to a table while a henchman poured petrol over him – and all while Colin sat opposite, flicking his lighter.

    He was linked to six murders and scores of shootings, and he played a big role in earning Nottingham its reputation as Britain’s gun capital.

    Colin was heavily linked to the murder of a Nottingham jeweller but never charged. The man thought to have pulled the trigger, James Brodie, is believed to have then been killed himself and fed to a bunch of pigs before he could confess to the police.

    In 2003, a rival gang tried to kill Colin’s nephew, Jamie. Michael O’Brien, the shooter, missed Jamie and instead killed Marvin Bradshaw. Jamie’s life then went into a downward spiral as he got into drugs, and he eventually died.

    Colin was determined to get revenge, and when it proved impossible to get to O’Brien in jail, he went after the gunman’s mum and stepdad instead.

    The Nottingham home where nurse Joan, 51, and John Stirland, 55, lived was sprayed with bullets, and the couple went into hiding.

    But the gang tracked them down to their new seaside home in Lincolnshire – possibly with help from bent cops – and two gunmen headed over there and killed them.

    Colin was sent down after being found guilty of conspiring to murder the Stirlands. After the guilty verdict was read out in court, he turned to the jury and said: “Thank you, you scumbags.”

    His brother was cleared of involvement, although he was jailed soon afterwards for drug offences.

    And David was no stranger to brutal behaviour, either. Following his last release from prison, he told a crime podcast hosted by ex-lag Shaun Attwood about how he’d taken revenge on a drunk bloke who bumped into a table where his nine-year-old daughter was having lunch, “belting her in the eye” in the process.

    He recounted: “So I've bit his eyelids off and his lips off and swallowed them. But that's what I had to do, because he had cut my daughter's eye, so I thought 'I'm going to scar you for life, mate.”

    But David appears to have turned a corner. He told Attwood: “Don't do it, my mate, get a job and live your life – don't end up like me and my brother, pal.

    “Get a job and make your mum and dad proud. That's all I'll say about it. I drill that into my grandchildren.”

    Despite David’s change of heart, there are still people scared of the brothers. A few years ago, one of Colin’s former girlfriends said she was terrified that one of his henchmen would track her down.

    The woman, Jane, told the Mirror what happened after a courtroom blunder revealed she was a police witness against Colin.

    She said she can’t see her daughter or hold a bank account, and women’s refuges won’t risk taking her in.

    “My family are too scared to come anywhere near me. I haven’t seen my little girl for six years because I’m so worried her being near me will put her life in danger,” she said.

    Colin once tried to kill Jane in a hotel room before one of his men persuaded him it wasn’t the right place to do it.

    Jane finally escaped from him but she said: “One day I heard a knock at the door. I opened a window and looked down and this man was just stood there wearing a hoodie. He pulled out a gun, pulled his hood off and pointed a finger to his face as if to say, ‘Remember this face, I’ll be back’.”

    Even though it’s Colin who’s behind bars, Jane said: “I’m the one with the life sentence.”

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    • Crime
    • Courts
    • Drugs
    • Gangs

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