Four jailed over ‘hitmen’ grenade attack on the home of Moseley businessman
Written by Tristan Harris on March 17, 2019
A BUSINESSMAN and the hitmen he hired to launch a grenade attack on a Birmingham man’s home have been jailed for a total of almost 70 years.
Danyal Gurjee paid Stephen Cronin and Bradley Harrington, from Merseyside, to intimidate the 43-year-old who lived in Moseley.
Gurjee claimed the man cost him £400,000 in a failed business venture.
The 40-year-old, from Bramhall Lane in Preston, ploughed the money into a property business in the Democratic Republic of Congo alongside the Moseley businessmen who is also understood to have invested heavily.
However, the deal collapsed towards the end of 2017 and prompted Gurjee − who lost his full stake in the proposed project − to send a series of threatening text and phone calls to his would-be business partner demanding his money back.
And his vengeance took a sinister turn when he paid Liverpool men Cronin (31) and 30-year-old Harrington £8,000 to ramp up the pressure on his behalf.
On May 24 last year Cronin and Harrington went to the home in Anderton Park Road, forced open the security gates before Cronin smashed a window and Harrington tossed an improvised grenade inside.
It detonated causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage but luckily the property was empty and no-one was injured.
Officers painstakingly trawled CCTV to track down the Audi involved to Moseley.
On June 26 a relative of the victim received a phone call from a man with a Merseyside accent asking for a message to be passed on that they could ‘come to some sort of arrangement’ but warning they were ‘not to be messed with’.
And the next morning the victim’s mother awoke to find a greetings card with a handwritten note urging her son to contact a mobile phone number.
Officers found the card − featuring a sausage on the front and the words ‘You Silly Sausage’ − was stocked at a local supermarket and CCTV revealed two men buying the card at a self-service till.
It enabled detectives to identify Harrington and Cronin − whose fingerprints were found on the card − and more painstaking CCTV analysis revealed their Audi A5 Quattro had travelled from Liverpool to Birmingham and back overnight between June 26 and 27.
They were arrested days later and charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion.
A mobile phone seized from Cronin showed regular contact with numbers associated with Danyal Gurjee and his brother Abdul Gurjee.
In one message Cronin, from Pilch Bank Road in Dovecote, Liverpool, tells Abdul Gurjee ‘he gave me 3k for a 10k job. I’m not letting this go… the same be happen to his house that’s a promise’.
It prompted Danyal Gurjee to retort: “You ain’t getting more dough. You’ve had 8k. Done further more you could have had a lot more. Don’t threaten me I don’t take lightly to that.”
With the evidence stacking up against them, Cronin admitted conspiracy to cause an explosion, possession of two hand grenades, possessing a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition, plus possession of a rifle.
He was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for 21 years and eight months.
Harrington, from Access Road in Liverpool’s West Derby region, and Danyal Gurjee both denied conspiracy to cause an explosion but were found guilty by a jury.
Harrington was jailed for 23 years.
Gurjee and his brother Abdul Gurjee from Tabley Lane, Preston, were jailed for 16 years and eight respectively for blackmail.
West Midlands Police Det Insp Tom Hadley, said: “The investigation was detailed and complex… carried out with exceptional skill and tenacity by our officers.
“It’s a fact not lost on the prosecution barrister who, at court, praised the determination of the investigation team.
“The team went to great lengths to identify the offenders by painstakingly examining CCTV from around Birmingham, tracking their car to Merseyside and uncovering vital CCTV evidence from service stations and shops.
“It’s not clear how the Gurjees came across Cronin and Harrington but it’s suspected they were customers at a mobile phone shop where Abdul worked − and he simply thought they were sinister types who could help his brother exert more pressure on the victim.
“These are very dangerous hitmen who were prepared to use extreme levels of violence in order to threaten and intimidate. In my view they would happily have seriously injured someone of killed had the price been right − and the public are much safer with them behind bars.”