Gang who left grenade at Kenny Dalglish’s home jailed for life after escaping from Manchester prison van

By Dean Wilkins

Five gang members, who left a grenade on the wall of Kenny Dalglish’s home, were jailed for life today.

The Merseyside group’s leaders Kirk Bradley and Anthony Downes, both 26, escaped from a prison van in Manchester last July and carried out a series of shootings on the Liverpool manager’s street.

Bradley is still missing but Downes was arrested in the Netherlands last Friday and found to be in the possession of a loaded .44 Magnum revolver and two fake passports.

The judge said Bradley, who was first convicted of robbery aged 15, was ‘plainly a very dangerous man’.

“There is a serious risk to members of the public of serious harm being occasioned by him.”

He added: “Any right-thinking member of the public would feel abhorrence and outrage at this merciless campaign which Bradley oversaw and co-managed.”

Bradley and Downes were found guilty of conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to cause damage with intent to endanger life and ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years.

Downes is due to be flown back to the UK to serve his sentence.

The court heard that the home of a wealthy businessman living in the same street as Liverpool football manager Dalglish was the target of two shootings.

Three other men admitted possessing firearms and causing criminal damage with intent to endanger life and were also jailed.

Gary Wilson, 27, was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years. Joseph Farrell, 23, must serve a minimum of 12 years and Craig Riley, 25, a minimum of 14 years.

The first trial of the gang collapsed after Downes and Bradley escaped from custody when the van they were travelling in was attacked by armed men last July.

Both were convicted in their absence at a retrial at Woolwich Crown Court last week.

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