Recycling boss ‘hired gangsters from Northern Ireland to kill staff at a rival firm’

May 10, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

A recycling firm boss hired gangsters from Northern Ireland to try and kill staff members of a rival company by posting NAIL BOMBS through their letterboxes, a court heard.

Jason Taft, 41, and five other men are accused of a campaign of terror which led to three large explosions at homes across Staffordshire last summer.

A court heard the gang hatched the bomb plot following a bitter business dispute with rival recycling boss Jason Sherratt.

They targeted staff working for Sherratt, 40, by packing nails into home-made pipe bombs before shoving them through the letterboxes of their homes, a jury was told.

Stafford Crown Court heard the mobsters also threatened to shoot and kill Sherratt’s employees and their families during the campaign of intimidation.

Taft went on trial on Thursday charged with conspiring to cause explosions and making threats to kill alongside Kevin Proctor, 43, from Milton, Staffs., and Martin Drewery, 42, from Sandy Lane, Staffs.

Thomas Leslie, 34, Andrew Boal, 32, and Edvinas Sermuksnis, 30, all from Northern Ireland, also stand accused of the same charges.

The jury heard Sherratt – who ran the Algmet recycling plant in Cheadle, Staffs., – had an ongoing feud with Taft who believed he was owed money.

Andrew Lockhart, prosecuting, said: “It is our case that Mr Taft and his associates had a long-standing dispute with Mr Sherratt last summer that came to a head.

“They began a campaign of bombing directed towards him, but through his associates.

“There is clear evidence the purpose of the campaign was to obtain money from Jason Sherratt.

“Taft was angry at Jason Sherratt for failing to pay him money, so he became involved in a campaign of intimidation.”

The court heard on June 21 the gang raided the Algmet business, stealing scrap metal and vehicles and vandalising the offices.

They locked themselves in for six days and police were called to a stand-off between the gang and Sherratt and his employees, the court heard.

Sherratt eventually got a county court injunction to reoccupy the site, but Mr Lockhart said “that’s when more serious threats and intimidation began”.

Nobody was injured in the explosions, which happened at addresses in Blythe Bridge, Cheadle and Weston Coyney, Staffs.

All five men deny the charges.

The trial continues.

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