Gangland enforcer who charged £10,000 to blind people planned acid attack in Blackpool

An “extremely dangerous” gangland enforcer who plotted an acid attack in Blackpool has been jailed.

By Sean Gleaves
Friday, 27th May 2022, 8:01 pm
Updated Friday, 27th May 2022, 8:02 pm

Jonathan Gordon, 34, charged £6,000 to commit an acid attack and £10,000 to blind someone.

He took instructions from an unidentified boss of an organised crime group (OCG) on EncroChat – an encrypted communications platform.

Gordon nearly blinded the victim of the acid attack and planned another attack on a man at a property where a grenade was discovered in the front garden.

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Jonathan Gordon has been convicted of launching a horrifying acid attack on a victim and plotting to blind other victims. (Credit: NCA)

He was also involved in three shootings, including one which blasted the bedroom window of an elderly couple's home.

The acid attack happened in April 2019 when the victim left his house in St Helens, Merseyside, to get a charger from his car.

Gordon was waiting for him and threw a container of acid in his face.

The victim, who was blinded but regained his sight months later after medical treatment, picked out Gordon as the attacker in an identity parade.

Dylan Johnston. (Credit: NCA)

Messages on the platform EncroChat showed Gordon, a convicted drug dealer who used the handle Valuedbridge, was taking instructions from the unidentified crime boss.

He and Gordon planned a second acid attack on a man in Blackpool - with the crime boss declaring the victim “needs a good litre on him” - and a third attack on a man in Warrington.

The Blackpool attack was cancelled because it was during the first lockdown and the offenders were worried about police spotting their stolen car.

The proposed Warrington attack saw Gordon and his accomplices, Dylan Johnston and Stephen Wissett, drive a stolen Ford Fiesta to the property of a man they planned to throw acid on.

Stephen Wissett. (Credit: NCA)

They abandoned the attack in April 2020 after spotting the house had CCTV and decided to return the next day in disguise.

But the next day, the three offenders were approached by patrol officers in Liverpool and ran off, with police seizing the stolen car.

Forensic examination found Wissett’s DNA on a Lucozade bottle, the steering wheel and a pair of gloves.

Johnston’s DNA was also found on another pair of gloves.

The crime boss was undeterred by the failed bid and wanted Gordon to go back to the Warrington property and “double the dose” and “cook” the intended victim with acid.

Police and NCA investigators discovered through EncroChat messages that a grenade had been left in the front garden of the Warrington house and organised the bomb squad to conduct a controlled explosion.

Because of this, the OCG paused the acid attack because it was obvious law enforcement had become involved.

Gordon still discussed the planned acid attack, telling his boss: “He getting blinded, bro.”

EncroChat messages also showed Gordon had been involved in a street gunfight in January 2020 with an unknown man, telling his boss he “let off a clip in the street”.

A man had approached him on an e-bike and they exchanged fire, with a bullet from Gordon's handgun going through the bedroom window of an elderly couple's house.

Gordon was also involved in a plot to shoot up a property in Warrington in March 2020.

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

Following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court, Gordon was found guilty of three counts of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm; two counts of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, and one count of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Johnston, 27, of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, was convicted of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life, and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

Wissett, 28, also of Ellesmere Port, had already admitted conspiracy to commit GBH.

NCA operations manager Ben Rutter said the acid attack victim “suffered life changing injuries and the physical and mental toll of his attack cannot be overstated”.

“Jonathan Gordon is an extremely dangerous offender,” Mr Rutter added.

“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.”

Gordon, Johnston and Wissett will be sentenced on 15 June 15.