A gang enforcer charged £6000 to carry out an acid attack in which the target suffered life changing injuries and was planning two blind, two more victims. Jonathan Gordon, 34, who was convicted in court, was taking instructions from an unidentified crime boss.
In one case, Gordon’s paymaster said he wanted him to “double the dose” and “cook” the victim with acid. The mystery man sent him pictures of an acid canister and Steyr M9 pistols. But Gordon now faces a lengthy jail sentence after being involved in a series of incidents at the behest of the crime boss.
His ruthless behavior, which also included a series of shootings, was discovered after law enforcement vandalized a secret communication system used by criminals. The boss of an organized crime group (OCG) gave him his orders on the EncroChat encrypted communications platform.
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Gordon nearly blinded a man after throwing an acid canister in his face, planned more attacks in Lancashire and Cheshire, staged another man’s home shooting and was involved in two other Liverpool street shootings, one of which blew up the bedroom window of an OAP. couple’s house
The National Crime Agency in a statement said that on 14 April 2019 the first victim left her home in Milton Street, St Helens to get a charger from her car. Gordon, who used the handle Valuedbridge on EncroChat, was waiting for him and threw a container of acid in his face.
The victim was temporarily blinded, but recovered his sight months later after medical treatment. During an identity parade, she chose Gordon, who is from Kirkdale, Liverpool but with no fixed address, as his attacker.
EncroChat was removed in 2020 and international law enforcement was able to access the messages that the criminals had sent. The National Crime Agency launched Operation Venetic – the UK law enforcement response to the takedown of EncroChat.
Previously encrypted messages showed that Gordon, who was a member of the ‘Deli Mafia’ in Liverpool and a convicted drug dealer, was taking instructions from the unnamed crime boss. He and Gordon planned a second acid attack on a man in Blackpool, with the paymaster stating that the victim “needs a good liter on him”, and a third attack on a man in Warrington.
The Blackpool attack was called off because it was due to happen during the first lockdown when the roads were empty and criminals were worried their stolen car would be spotted by police.
On April 6, 2020, Gordon and his accomplices Dylan Johnston, 27, and Stephen Wissett, 28, drove a stolen Ford Fiesta to Birtles Road, Warrington, and planned to throw acid at a man who lived on the property. They abandoned the attack because the house had CCTV and decided to return the next day in disguise.
But the next day, while in Liverpool, the three were accosted by patrol officers. Gordon, Johnston and Wissett fled, but the car was impounded and the attack was averted. Forensic examination found Wissett’s DNA on a bottle of Lucozade, the steering wheel and a pair of gloves. Johnston’s DNA was on another pair of gloves.
The crime boss was undeterred by the failed bid on April 7 and wanted Gordon to return to Birtles Road and “double the dose” and “cook” the intended victim with acid. But NCA investigators, working with Merseyside Police, Cheshire Police and North West ROCU, discovered through EncroChat messages that a grenade had previously been left in the front garden of the house on Birtles Road. Warrington.
Using intelligence from EncroChat, NCA officers arranged for the bomb squad to perform a controlled explosion on the grenade on April 14. Because of this, the OCG stopped the acid attack because it was obvious that the police had been involved. Gordon still discussed the planned acid attack, telling his boss, “He’s going blind, brother.”
EncroChat messages also showed that Gordon had been involved in a street shooting on January 24, 2020 with an unknown man. Cell site evidence showed that Gordon’s mobile phone was in Wilburn Street, Liverpool, at around midnight, and Gordon also sent a message to his boss saying that he “left a clip on the street”. Officers attending the scene found a kicked open front door with Gordon’s DNA on it and on the back door handle.
The messages also showed that Gordon was involved in another shooting with an unknown assailant on May 25, 2020. At 11:45 p.m., the man approached Gordon on an electric bike and they exchanged shots: a bullet from the Grand Power pistol. Gordon’s gun went through the bedroom window of an elderly couple’s home in Carisbrooke Road, Liverpool.
Gordon later told his boss on EncroChat that he had lost his Great Power and sent him a picture of a newspaper article about the shooting. His hand was visible in the photo and a fingerprint expert compared his palm to the palm in the photo and said both were Gordon’s.
Gordon was also involved in a plot to shoot up property in Reaper Close, Warrington, on March 20, 2020. He and his accomplice Dylan Johnston, 27, organized a team to blow out the windows of the house in a shooting from A vehicle. Phone records linked the two men calling each other in the minutes after the attack. Forensics showed that the bullets came from the same gun involved in the Wilburn Street shooting.
Yesterday afternoon, Gordon and Johnston were found guilty by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court. Gordon was found guilty of: three counts of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm; two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and one count of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life. Johnston, of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, was convicted of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily injury.
Wissett, from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, had previously admitted conspiracy to commit GBH: he was part of the team planning to throw acid in a victim’s face. The trio will return to court on June 15 to be sentenced. Judge David Aubrey said Gordon’s cruelty knew no bounds.
Ben Rutter, NCA Operations Manager, said: “I give testimony to the victim in this case and thank him for his courage and support in helping us bring Jonathan Gordon to justice. The victim suffered life-changing injuries and the physical and mental toll of his attack cannot be underestimated.
“Jonathan Gordon is an extremely dangerous criminal. His actions were exceptionally evil, he didn’t think of blinding the victims for money. He brought a really high level of damage to the streets as an enforcer for his OCG and it’s lucky no one has died in his chaotic and reckless use of firearms.
“I congratulate the investigating officers from the National Crime Agency, Merseyside Police and Cheshire Police. This was a long and complex investigation spanning several years and officers worked tirelessly to ensure that the evidence collected left the jury in no doubt as to Gordon’s guilt.”