A MOBSTER nicknamed “The Gay Gangster” ran one of the most notorious UK crime families with his thug brothers – before he was exposed as a paedophile.
Dominic Noonan helped run a violent gang on the streets of Manchester with his siblings Damien and Dessie.
5A mugshot released by GMP of Dominic NoonanCredit: GMP5Damien and Dessie were two of Manchester’s most dangerous men, fronting the door at the Hacienda nightclubCredit: GettyThe family, born in Manchester’s deprived Moss Side, were linked to armed robberies worth millions, shootings and once boasted “we had more guns than the police.”
They spent their spare time targeting security vans, they would disguise themselves with tights over their heads and violently push the drivers to the floor before ransacking the van for cash
Bob Dunbar, who worked for Greater Manchester Police at the time, says: “The Noonan brothers were involved with gang culture, drugs and beatings.
“It became almost legendary that if you went to a club, the brothers would be on the door.”
Damien and Dessie were two of Manchester’s most dangerous men, fronting the door at the Hacienda nightclub duringthe 90s when celebs, footballers and gangsters partied at the Whitworth Street venue.
For many the Noonans and their friend Paul Massey were very much 90s gangsters when Manchester’s underworld wasstill dominated by armed robbery crews and door security firms.
True crime author Bernard O’Mahoney , who has written extensively about Manchester’s underworld, said: “The Hacienda brought the Noonans in to control people like Massey.
“But they were all mates and Massey cut them in on the money made from selling drugs in the club.”
On the streets The Noonans became known for their brutality.
The new generation of Manchester firms will not work with Dominic after his convictions. Bernard O’Mahoney
One of their most grisly crimes was the beheading of a rival family’s dog, in a pub.
The gruesome scene, in which Dominic callously dumps the canine head wrapped in newspaper on a pool table, has become synonymous with the brutal and desensitised nature in which the brothers committed crime.
Damien and Dessie had both been suspected by police of murdering Cheetham Hill gangster Tony White in February 1991, but both men were later cleared after a trial.
The Noonans carved out a reputation as Manchester’s most feared family in the 90s, facing down volatile gun gangs from Cheetham Hill and Moss Side.
They were even the subject of a TV documentary, filmed by journalist Donal MacIntyre, where Dessie would smirk at being linked with with 27 murders.
In the film MacIntyre speculated that the brothers and their associates made £5m to £6m from cash in-transit robberies.
But within a 12 month period a series of tragic events would destroy the Noonans, leaving Dominic isolated and exposed.
In 2004, Damien died in a motorbike crash while on holiday in the Dominican Republic.
In March 2005, Dessie Noonan was stabbed to death by a crack dealer on a housing estate yards from the River Mersey.
Dessie has spent the night in a south Manchester pub and called around at the Merseybank address to buy crack cocaine.
Derek McDuffus, a part time chef, told police that he ‘don’t mess about’ after he stabbed Noonan to death.
Dark rumours had always surrounded Dominic, who was thought to be gay and reportedly enjoyed the nickname “The Gay Gangster” given to him by underworld associates.
But this brother’s presence had always kept a lid on more sinister speculation around his sex life.
I thought Dominic was a nothing surrounded by little kids.Underworld figure
Jailed for ten years in 2005 for firearms offences, Dominic was still seen to be a gangland force despite the deathsof his feared brothers.
Dominic faced trials in 2011, 2013 and 2016 when he was accused of serious sexual offences. He was cleared on eachoccasion.
But in 2018 he was found guilty of 13 historic sex offences against four young boys aged as young as ten.
He was jailed for 11 years and later lost an appeal against his conviction.
For many the seedy details of the court case confirmed their worse fears about Dominic Noonan’s sex life.
A Liverpool man who asked not be named said: “I battered one of Dominic’s nephews in a Manchester bar and had him on the phone threatening all sorts.
“I said lets meet for a straightner (fight) but he bottled it.
“In the end he threw me a few hundred quid and sent over some champagne. I gave the cash to the doorman at the bar.
“I thought Dominic was a nothing surrounded by little kids.”
O’Mahoney said Noonan has no chance of rising back to the top of the Manchester underworld when he gets out of jail.
He said: “The new generation of Manchester firms will not work with Dominic after his convictions.
“He is seen to be a nonce.”
Massey, a close friend of Damien and Dessie, died in a machine gun attack outside his Salford home in 2015.
5Dessie Noonan poses for a picture with Take That star Mark Owen at the Hacienda clubCredit: PA:Empics Entertainment5Dominic Noonan was a feared force on the streets of ManchesterCredit: Channel 55Feared doorman Damien Noonan
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk