Murder victim Jordan Thomas had his life threatened eight times in three years by the Sheffield drugs gang that eventually killed him, his grandmother revealed today.
Lynn Hamblett said her 22-year-old grandson became a target for the Somali group following the 2011 death of Mubarak Ali.
Mr Ali was killed by Jordan’s cousin James Knowles following a confrontation at a barber’s shop as part of a feud between rival groups of young men from Pitsmoor and Somalians from Broomhall.
Ms Hamblett stressed Jordan was not a member of a gang himself but said he had been fearful of being attacked as a result of the repeated threats he received.
“Jordan was not involved in these groups,” she told The Star.
“Jordan is from Pitsmoor and Jordan knew these people because he was very popular, everybody loved him.
“But Jordan wasn’t in a gang – I would stake my life on that.”
She added that Jordan’s life had been threatened at least eight times after his cousin James Knowles was sent to jail for the killing of Mubarak Ali.
Ms Hamblett said: “Jordan was always a target, as soon as James got sent to prison.
“Jordan and James had a bond and they looked very much alike.
“Jordan was always very wary about where he was, they had cornered him once or twice. He couldn’t go to Meadowhall, he used to go to the Trafford Centre in Manchester to go shopping because of the risk.
“He wouldn’t expose himself and let himself be at any risk and would never use public transport.
“He had been threatened eight times – people saying to him ‘We will blow your head off’ and ‘We have measured your coffin for you’.”
She said Jordan’s family wanted to set the record straight after it was claimed in court he had been involved in drug dealing himself.
“It was just hearsay, they couldn’t offer any substantial evidence, not anything to put on the table,” she said.
“This was another ploy of the defence.”
Ms Hamblett said the family hoped Jordan could be known as they remember him.
“Jordan comes from a good family and a loving family,” she said.
“This is not how we live our lives.
“We want to present the true picture of Jordan, not something people make him out to be.
“He was a loving, kind young man with everything going for him.”