Home London News Nuttall targeted lawyer with ‘bomb-like devices’ over legal turmoil

Nuttall targeted lawyer with ‘bomb-like devices’ over legal turmoil

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Jonathan Nuttall

Jonathan Nuttall, 50, of Romsey, Hampshire, stands accused of hiring Michael Sode, 58, of Deptford, and Michael Broddle, 46, of Hounslow, to plant bomb-like devices in a ‘campaign of intimidation’ towards a lawyer who prosecuted them for a £1m money-laundering scheme.

Andrew Sutcliffe KC was the subject of a plan to cause distress and professional humiliation when his chambers in gray’s inn in central london were targeted, the Old Bailey heard on Monday (April 24).

Catherine Farrelly, the prosecutor, stated that one of the devices, made to appear like an explosive, was placed near a bench. The other device, deposited outside Mr Sutcliffe’s chambers, was accompanied by a smoke grenade in order to produce “maximum alarm”, the jury was informed.

Ms Farrelly told jurors: “These devices were left in both locations with a quite clear objective – to cause serious panic, thereby drawing significant attention. The objective was accomplished: buildings were evacuated, roads cordoned off, and a large number of police officers attended the scene.”

She said the devices were not only intended to cause “widespread alarm,” but also to bring “alarm, distress, and public and professional embarrassment” to the senior barrister. The prosecution claims that Jonathan Nuttall, 50, had a “deep-seated grudge” towards Mr Sutcliffe and had the resources to carry out such a “bold and targeted strike.”

Nuttall reportedly hired his driver, Michael Sode, 58, to pose as a “middleman” with Michael Broddle, who installed the devices on September 14, 2021. Broddle, in turn, was said to have enlisted the help of his sons Charlie, 18, and Joshua, 20.

“In 2015, the NCA had instructed Andrew Sutcliffe to conduct the legal proceedings arising from that investigation into Jonathan Nuttall and others,” Ms Farrelly added.

“Later, in 2017, the NCA had instructed a second barrister in Andrew Sutcliffe’s chambers to work alongside him on the case, Anne Jeavons.” The case had gone on for several years and involved an order in April 2019 for more than £1 million worth of assets being recovered from Nuttall’s wife, Amanda Nuttall, jurors were told.

Faced with the threat of public humiliation and reputational destruction, Nuttall allegedly turned his rage on the two attorneys involved. Ms Farrelly stated unequivocally that Michael Broddle planted the two devices.

Jonathan Nuttall's case is at the Old Bailey
Nuttall and his accomplices are on trial at the Old Bailey

Charlie Broddle reportedly joined his father and, while waiting nearby, videotaped the arrival of police on his mobile phone. Joshua Broddle is said to have met them ahead of time and provided packaging for one of the devices.

Ms Farrelly told jurors that the Broddles had conducted research and surveillance on Mr Sutcliffe and Ms Jeavons at least six months before the attack on Gray’s Inn. It was stated that Operation Epic was the first chapter in a “targeted campaign of intimidation and public embarrassment” against the lawyers.

Michael Broddle reportedly created a “to do” list in May 2021 to spend “more time with Sooty’s family and friends” – a reference to Mr Sutcliffe – and “take gifts round” to Ms Jeavons and her family. Sode reportedly travelled to Nuttall’s London house in Sloane Square for a meeting on May 19, 2021, before proceeding to the Gray’s Inn area.

Michael Broddle reportedly went to a residence held by Ms Jeavons on the same day, despite the fact that she did not live there. A video showing a message being printed outside the door was subsequently obtained by police. Michael Broddle reportedly went to Mr Sutcliffe’s house and videotaped the journey on his phone.

According to the court, a camera showed a threatening message being produced from a hand-held printer and left on the house’s buzzer. It was purportedly sent to a female relative and read, “Either Sooty QC stops digging his own grave or you will be raped whilst we dig up (another relative’s) grave.”

However, Mr Sutcliffe later stated that, to his knowledge, no one in his family or any of his neighbours had discovered the message. According to reports, Michael and Joshua Broddle met Sode in a cafe in west London the day after visiting the two lawyers’ homes to report back.

The photos of Gray’s Inn were shot on cameras owned by Michael and Joshua Broddle in June 2021, jurors were told. Ms Farrelly speculated that as planning advanced, Michael Broddle acquired equipment similar to those used in the attack, such as a thunderflash, smoke grenades, and “fun snaps.”

Sode reportedly sent £1,000 to Michael Broddle the day before the incident. Nuttall of Romsey, Hampshire, Sode of Deptford, south-east London, and Charlie and Joshua Broddle of Hounslow, west London, all deny two counts of conspiring with Michael Broddle to put an article on or before September 14, 2021.

Charlie Broddle denies having an explosive material in his possession in relation to one of the devices. Nuttall, Sode, Michael Broddle, Joshua Broddle, and Hounslow resident George Gray, 25, deny conspiracy to transfer illicit property. Nuttall is charged with six counts of failing to comply with a notice, while Sode is charged with two counts.

The trial continues

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