Gangland enforcer charged £6K to attack victims with acid and £10K to blind them 1 month ago

Gangland enforcer charged £6K to attack victims with acid and £10K to blind them

Jonathan Gordon was ordered to pour 'a good litre' of acid on one victim

A gangland enforcer has been convicted of launching a horrifying acid attack on a victim, plotting to blind others, and being involved in a number of shootings.

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Gordon Johnson took orders from an unidentified crime boss over encrypted comms platform EncroChat and was told to "pour a good litre on" and "cook" one target. The 34-year-old charged £6,000 to commit an acid attack and £10,000 to blind someone, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

Johnston and Dylan Johnston were convicted of a string of crimes on Thursday and along with co-offender, Stephen Wissett, are due to be sentenced on 15 June.

Gordon, 34, targeted his first victim on 14 April 2019 as he left his house in Milton Street, St Helens, to get a charger from his car, throwing a container of acid in his face.

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The victim was temporarily blinded but regained his sight months later after medical treatment and was able to identify Gordon in an identity parade.

EncroChat was taken down in 2020 with international law enforcement able to access messages criminals had sent. As a result, the NCA launched Operation Venetic.

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Previously encrypted messages showed Gordon, who was a member of the ‘Deli Mob’ in Liverpool and a convicted drug dealer of no fixed abode, took instructions from an unidentified crime boss.

A second attack was planned on a man in Blackpool – with the crime boss declaring the victim “needs a good litre on him” – and a third, on a man in Warrington.

The Blackpool attack was cancelled because it was planned to happen during the first lockdown when the roads were empty and the offenders were worried police would spot their stolen car, the NCA said.

On 6 April 2020 Gordon and his accomplices, Johnston, 27, and Wissett, 28, drove a stolen Ford Fiesta to Birtles Road, Warrington, and planned to throw acid on a man who lived at the property.

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Spotting the house had CCTV they abandoned the attack and decided to return the next day in disguise.

But on 7 April, while in Liverpool, the trio was approached by patrol officers.

Gordon, Johnston, and Wissett ran off but the car was seized and the attack prevented, the NCA said.

The crime boss was undeterred by the failed bid, the NCA said and wanted Gordon to go back to Birtles Road and “double the dose” and “cook” the intended victim with acid.

But NCA investigators – working with Merseyside Police, Cheshire Police, and the North West ROCU - discovered through EncroChat messages that a grenade had previously been left in the front garden of the house in Birtles Road, so organised for a controlled explosion to take place.

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The acid attack was again paused, but Gordon continued to reassure his boss, saying: “He getting blinded, bro.”

EncroChat messages also showed Gordon had been involved in a street gunfight on 24 January 2020 with an unknown man and was involved in another gunfight on 25 May 2020 when a man approached him on an e-bike.

Gordon was also involved in a plot to shoot up a property in Reaper Close, Warrington, on 20 March 2020.

He and Johnston organised a team to blast the windows of the house in a drive-by shooting.

On Thursday, Gordon and Johnston were found guilty by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court. Wissett, of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, but no fixed abode, had already admitted conspiracy to commit GBH – he was part of the team planning to throw acid in a victim’s face.

Judge David Aubrey said Gordon’s ruthlessness knew no bounds.

Ben Rutter, NCA Operations Manager, said: “The victim suffered life-changing injuries and the physical and mental toll of his attack cannot be overstated.

“Jonathan Gordon is an extremely dangerous offender. His actions were exceptionally wicked, he thought nothing of blinding victims for money.

“He brought a really high level of harm to the streets as an enforcer for his OCG and it is lucky no one was killed in his chaotic and reckless use of firearms."

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