A FORMER senior detective has called on an East Lancashire convicted murderer to reveal the last movements of a father-of-four - 10 years on.

Housing manager Paul Brady was last seen being bundled into the back of a van on the exclusive Lynn Court housing estate in Weir, near Bacup, by up to 15 attackers, a decade ago.

The 44-year-old was lured to the site to carry out a bogus repair at one of the properties before was set upon by masked attackers, armed with a shotgun and baseball bats.

David Collier, a joiner, accompanying him, managed to flee but eyewitnesses saw Mr Brady being brutalised by the masked man and saw a limp body being driven away from the scene.

Two vehicles were used in the kidnapping. A van was later found abandoned off moorland and a Citroen Berlingo was discovered burnt-out in Manchester.

An investigation by Lancashire Police later saw drug dealer Paul Devalda, who was living in Padiham at the time, jailed for 21 years for his murder.

His henchmen Michael Dunphy, from Farnworth, and Daniel Jones, from Bacup, were given 11 and 10 years respectively for their roles in his disappearance.

Mr Brady, who was originally from Rochdale, had taken delivery of a major consignment of cocaine, with a street value of around £350,000, and it is believed Devalda and his gang had become aware of this and planned to abduct him and steal the drugs.

Retired detective chief superintendent Neil Hunter, senior investigating officer in the case, is convinced Devalda holds the key to Mr Brady's whereabouts.

"Devalda is a ruthless gangster and was part of an organised crime group. He will certainly have known what happened to Paul - he was instrumental in the kidnapping and murder.

"I've no doubt that if he didn't dispose of the body himself, he would have ordered someone else to do so and knew exactly what happened."

Devalda, who had formerly lived in Prestwich, was bugged by police, before his arrest, and was heard discussing getting rid of something 'on the moors'.

"If Devalda had an ounce of decency or respect for the grieving family then he would provide information to the police which would give them closure. His silence speaks volumes," added Mr Hunter.

Last year Devalda saw an appeal against his conviction quashed by law lords.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "Sadly Mr Brady’s body has never been found. Our thoughts remain with his family."