15 years on from brutal murder in 'military-style operation', his body is still missing

The family of Paul Brady, who was brutally murdered in a 'military style operation' 15 years ago, are still searching for his body.

Mr Brady, a 43-year-old father-of-four, led a double life as a property developer and drug dealer. He was ambushed by 10 to 15 masked men at a building site in Bacup, Rossendale, in August 2009, before being bundled into a vehicle and disappearing without a trace.

His murderer, fellow drug dealer Paul Devalda, was sentenced to a minimum of 21 years in prison in 2011. The judge said that the probable reason for the kidnap was to steal cocaine worth about £350,000 from Mr Brady, but he said he could not be sure.

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Despite an unsuccessful appeal against his conviction in 2018, the whereabouts of Mr Brady's remains are still unknown. Police have recently renewed their appeal for information, hoping to finally bring closure to his grieving family, the M.E.N reports.

Superintendent Gareth Willis, Head of Major Crime at Lancashire Constabulary, said: "It's been fifteen years since Paul Brady was kidnapped and murdered and my thoughts remain with his loved ones. While a number of people were convicted and jailed for their parts in his murder Paul's body has sadly never been found and I would appeal to anyone who may have any information as to where he may be to come forward and contact us.

"Loyalties and priorities may have changed over the years and finding Paul's body would help bring some sense of closure to his family. Anyone with information should contact us on 101. Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

A firework was set off at a property in Lynns Court, Bacup, in August 2009, in a bid to lure Mr Brady there. He attended and then returned the following day with a joiner to carry out repairs.

The pair were followed as they drove in convoy before a Ford Galaxy pulled in front of Mr Brady's vehicle. Mr Brady reversed his car into the joiner's vehicle and tried to get away, but he was set upon by an armed gang.

During Devalda's sentencing hearing, in March 2011, Mr Justice Royce said of Mr Brady's family: "They have had to live with the pain and torment of not knowing where he is now or precise circumstances in which he died. It continues to haunt them and they have no closure."

He told Devalda: "You could, if you had an ounce of decency give the answers but you will not. You are scheming, self-centred, ruthless and dangerous. You have shown and I anticipate will continue to show not a jot of remorse."