A BURNLEY woman and a Manchester man have today been given 12-month suspended sentences for assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice following the violent kidnap and murder of Paul Brady in Bacup in 2009.
Stacia Crossley (28), of Padiham Road, Burnley, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender during a hearing at Manchester Crown Court in March. She was handed a 12-month sentence suspended for two years and must comply with a probation order.
Heath Bowling (38), of High Lane, Stockport, was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice following a trial and was also given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years. He has been ordered to pay £25,000 costs and carry out 250 hours community service.
Bowling, a trusted associate of Paul Devalda, provided the Galaxy motor vehicle used in the kidnap and then unsuccessfully TRIed to cover his tracks by telling lies and alleging he had sold it to a legitimate mystery buyer. Stacia Crossley was the girlfriend of 35-year-old Paul Devalda who was sentenced to life in prison last month after being found guilty of murder and conspiracy to kidnap following a nine week trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
Paul Brady (44), of Rochdale, was kidnapped from the Beaufort Road area of Weir, Bacup, on Saturday, August 1st 2009.
Despite a major police investigation and extensive inquiries to find Mr Brady, his body has not yet been found and detectives believe he was killed and his body disposed of following the kidnap.
Detective Superintendent Neil Hunter, who led the major investigation, said: “This has been a large and very difficult and resource intensive enquiry, particularly as we have never recovered Paul’s body which brings with it its own challenges.
“This was a criminal vendetta kidnap and should be a strong warning to any individual who chooses to get involved in such criminality; we will robustly investigate any such offences and relentlessly pursue the people responsible. “This has been a massive team effort and I would like to thank everyone who worked on this enquiry as well as the Crown Prosecution Service and Counsel for their hard work in bringing this case to court and presenting it well.
“I hope the family and friends of Paul Brady can find some sort of closure from today and can, in some small way, move on with their lives although this will be almost impossible until Paul’s remains have been found. We will never give up looking for him and this investigation continues as all being well we are determined to bring to justice other people involved in this incident.”