Five men have been sent to prison for a total of 53 years following a dispute over a recycling firm.
Jason Taft, 42, of Thonrley Edge, Bagnall, was sentenced to 16 years for conspiring to cause explosions of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury and six years for conspiring to make threats to kill. The sentences will run concurrently.
He had been in dispute with Jason Sheratt over recycling firm Algment Recycling (formerly known as TME Metals) in Cheadle, Staffordshire claiming that he was owed £250,000 after selling the business to Sheratt.
A dispute between the pair escalated when Taft and his associates locked themselves in the company premises claiming he owned the firm only leaving when a court injunction was served, but after he had caused damage to the property.
Days later, nail bombs were pushed through the letterboxes of three of Algmet’s employees. Two of the properties were occupied with children at home, but no one was injured in the blasts.
Taft had recruited Thomas Leslie, 35, of Crumlin Road, Belfast, Andrew Boal, 32, of Ballygowan, Kevin Proctor, 44, of Edge View Road, Stoke-on-Trent and Martin Drewery, 43, of Sandy Lane, Brown Edge to undertake the attacks.
The five men were convicted by a jury at Stafford Crown Court on 30 July after a 14-week trial.
Leslie was sentenced to a total of 19 years, Boal five years, and Proctor and Drewery nine years each.
Staffordshire Police detective chief inspector Darren Harding said: “We welcome today’s sentences which mark the conclusion of this stage of the investigation.
“We would like to thank the witnesses for their support in what has been a long and complicated inquiry.
“Threatening, intimidating behaviour and more seriously, nail bombings, will not be tolerated in Staffordshire, and although the wider public’s safety was not at risk, this was undoubtedly a very serious crime and the defendants must now face the consequences of their involvement.”
The man who actually carried out the bombings, Jason Buckley, is still on the run from police.