A businessman has been jailed for eight years for planting two fake bombs outside the legal chambers of a barrister who had represented the National Crime Agency in a confiscation hearing which led to him losing £1.4 million.
Jonathan Nuttall, 50, his driver Michael Sode, 58, and a former royal marine, Michael Broddle, 47, were convicted last month of conspiracy to plant explosive devices outside the barrister's office in Gray's Inn Road, central London, on Sept. 14, 2021.
On Friday, Broddle was jailed for seven years and Sode for six years.
The four-month trial heard Nuttall had been pursued by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and had £1.4 million of assets belonging to him and his wife seized.
'Campaign of Intimidation'During the trial prosecutor Catherine Farrelly told the Old Bailey jury Nuttall, who lives in a stately home, Embley Manor in Romsey, Hampshirhad "harboured a great deal of animosity" towards Mr. Sutcliffe and began a "campaign of intimidation."
She said it escalated and on Sep. 14, 2021 the devices were left outside 3 Verulam Buildings and a smoke grenade was also let off, just to ensure they were noticed and "maximum alarm was caused."
The prosecutor said, "These devices were left in both locations with a quite clear objective—to cause serious panic, thereby drawing significant attention."
The barristers' chambers and several other buildings had to be evacuated, roads were cordoned off, and a large number of police officers swooped on the scene to investigate the devices.
Nuttall went into the witness box during the trial and was cross-examined by Ms. Farrelly, he was asked about a number of payments made by Sode to Michael Broddle.
She suggested, "After the leaving of the devices in Gray's Inn you gave money to Sode to give to Mr. Broddle to pay for those activities, didn't you?"
Denied Paying 'Hush Money'Farrelly went on, "Following his arrest you continued to pay him money, hush money, to keep quiet and not implicate you, didn't you?"
Nuttall replied, "That's completely wrong."
Ms. Farrelly said the bombs were the final chapter in a campaign Nuttall launched against Sutcliffe and Ms. Jeavons after they acted for the NCA in proceedings against him.
She said the NCA had been investigating Nuttall and his wife Amanda since 2011 on suspicion of money laundering, and in April 2019 an order was obtained that led to £1 million worth of assets being recovered from Nuttall's wife.
Sode—who was Nuttall's driver and also an associate of Michael Broddle—was used as a "middleman" and passed on instructions and then reported back to his boss.
Ms. Farrelly said the "first chapter" in the campaign against Sutcliffe and Jeavons was a surveillance campaign that Michael Broddle carried out in February 2021.
She said Broddle travelled to Yorkshire and camped overnight while he kept watch on Sutcliffe's country residence.
The prosecution claims Michael Broddle later met with Sode and afterwards messaged Joshua, telling him: “Gone to see Michael. The guy liked our work so should be paid Mon/tues. £500 ok?”
Sode later deposited money into Michael Broddle’s bank account.
She said chapter two of the "campaign of intimidation" began in May 2021 and involved leaving threatening messages on the doorstep of Mr. Sutcliffe's home and of a charity, the Pimlico Foundation, linked to Ms. Jeavons and her husband.
One of the notes involved a threat to rape a female relative of Sutcliffe and also to dig up the grave of a young relative.
Ms. Farrelly said a note left outside the offices of the Pimlico Foundation referred to Jeavons and her husband and included an "untrue and scandalous allegation" against him.
Michael Broddle's sons, Charlie Broddle, 19, and Joshua Broddle, 21, and a third man, George Gray, 25, denied any wrongdoing and were cleared of the charges they faced.