Jail for foiled grenade attackers

08 February 2010 05:44
Two men who planned a grenade attack on a Merseyside businessman - only to abandon the device outside the home of Kenny Dalglish - have been jailed.Carl Higgins and Simon Ignacio intended to throw the grenade through a window at Dalglish's neighbour, John Ball. [LNB]Liverpool Crown Court heard their plan was foiled by undercover police before the attack in Birkdale in July 2009. [LNB]Both men admitted conspiring to cause damage and were jailed for five years and four-and-a-half years respectively. [LNB]Ignacio, of Lee Park Avenue, Liverpool, and Higgins, of Helston Green, Huyton, also pleaded guilty to charges of being reckless to whether life would be endangered. [LNB][LNB] Johnston's texts to Higgins "Fits in ur hand""Lad, he's gota smash window an throw into house otherwise they wont pay gota be done rite lad""Gota pull pin lad""Make sure window smashed first an throw gota do the job as they want it doin lad" Mr Dalglish, 58, now Liverpool FC's academy director, and his wife Marina, 55, who runs a cancer charity, were not the intended targets and were not at home. [LNB]It was meant to be an attack on their neighbour Mr Ball, who - along with his business partner Terry Riley - has faced about 20 attacks on his properties and businesses. [LNB]The attack was commissioned by three other men who were facing a court case in which Mr Ball was a witness. That case is not proceeding. [LNB]The men allegedly used Mark Johnston, 21 - who also admitted the charges - to orchestrate the planned bombing from HMP Liverpool, where he was serving a nine-year sentence for robbery. [LNB][LNB]The incident was unconnected to Kenny DalglishJohnston, of MacQueen Street, Liverpool, texted Higgins to find another man to throw the grenade for "a monkey" - £500. [LNB]When police traced the texts and searched his cell they found the phone concealed inside his body, the court heard. [LNB]It was Higgins who recruited Ignacio, who dumped the grenade in shrubbery outside Mr Dalglish's home when spotted by a security guard. [LNB]Nigel Power, mitigating for Ignacio, said he had no idea he was carrying a British military grenade and thought he was only carrying "an onion bomb" made from fireworks. [LNB]He also said Ignacio was only recruited half-an-hour before police were called and would not have thrown the grenade if he had known anyone was inside. [LNB]Mr Ball was at home with his two children, aged nine and 17 months, at the time of the foiled attack on 26 July. [LNB]The judge, Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart, said: "It was a real Army grenade which is absolutely a lethal weapon. [LNB]"Had there been anyone in the room and the grenade landed and exploded death would have been immediate. [LNB]"The explosion would have caused massive damage to the house. It was an utterly reckless act," he added. [LNB]Johnston will be sentenced on 26 February.

Source: BBC_Sport