Two men left a live hand grenade on the doorstep of the home of an elderly man who had no connection to them.

Shaun Offlands and Lee O’Shea both left a hand grenade outside an address on Randale Drive in Unsworth on September 29 last year.

Prosecuting, Virginia Hayton told Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court how the pair rode over to Unsworth on a motorbike and were then spotted by witnesses acting suspiciously and placing a hand grenade on the doorstep of a house wearing helmets and dark clothing.

Offlands, 29, appeared to be hiding something under his jacket with him being slightly bent over.

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He was then seen ducking near the property, placing the device on the doorstep and then jumping back onto the motorbike which O’Shea was driving, the court heard.

The witnesses then went to the address and alerted the neighbours.

A neighbour picked up the grenade before he realised what it was, describing it as a rusty, brown ball and then called the police.

An army bomb squad was also deployed and the grenade, known as a "Warrington Grenade", was detonated safely in a controlled explosion.

Ms Hayton said the men had no connection with the elderly victim.

Officers confirmed the bomb was not a military device and it was manufactured illegally and was made up of firework composition.

Bury Times: The grenade that was left outside the homeThe grenade that was left outside the home (Image: Greater Manchester Police)

It was then found that both men travelled back to Liverpool after the event.

They were picked up on multiple CCTV cameras and both their phones were shown to have been in the same area at the same time.

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Both men pleaded guilty to possessing an explosive device.

Defending O’Shea, Paul Becker said that the purpose of the crime was to scare and threaten but the possibility of causing serious harm was unlikely.

Mr Becker said both men were acting like delivery drivers for the crime and device.

He said: “It was a threat and a message. But he wants to return to a normal way of family life.”

Mr Becker said O’Shea, 31, suffers from depression, anxiety and ADHD and has three children including one just a week old.

He suffered a difficult childhood but has managed to detoxify himself from drugs and has completed education in his spare time.

Defending Offlands, Michael Johnson said that no-one was injured, and no property damage was caused.

He said: “He has been recruited to do someone else’s dirty work and it was intended to be placed there as a threat.”

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Mr Johnson also said Offlands went into care aged 10 and he was moved around lots of children’s homes in the North frequently.

He suffers with depression and anxiety and has no formal qualifications or employment prospects.

Judge Matthew Corbett-Jones said: “Your motivation isn’t clear, you may have been mistaken of the address, and you were acting as couriers of the device to impose fear.”

He added that the potential for harm was very real and the consequences are potentially chilling.

Both were also deemed to pose a significant risk of harm to the public.

Offlands, of Esmond Street, Liverpool, was sentenced for five years with an extended licence period of three years.

O’Shea, of Apsley Road, Liverpool, was sentenced for four years with an extended licence period of three years.

Judge Corbett-Jones said both must serve at least two thirds of the prison term before being considered for release.

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