21 years in prison for Burnley murderer

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A BURNLEY gangster convicted of murdering a father-of-four has been sentenced to life and will have to serve a minimum of 21 years behind bars.

Paul Devalda (35), of Padiham Road, Burnley, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after being found guilty of the kidnap and murder of Paul Brady, whose body has never been found. He was given the life sentence for murder and also a 14-year sentence for kidnap, which is to run concurrently.

Mr Justice Royce warned Devalda that unless the Parole Board decided he is safe to release he will remain in prison “for the rest of your days”.

“I have no doubt that Paul Brady’s nearest and dearest would think this is no more than you deserve.”

The victim’s distraught mum, Mavis, shouted out: “Filthy scum. You are evil”. Devalda showed no emotion as he was led to the cells.

Devalda lured housing manager Mr Brady to a housing estate in Bacup in August 2009 where he was kidnapped and badly beaten by a masked armed gang.

As the jury relayed their verdicts yesterday, Devalda, who is currently in jail for drugs offences, sat with his head in his hands.

The jury was unable to agree verdicts on two charges against Devalda’s girlfriend, Stacia Crossley (28), also of Padiham Road, of assisting an offender. The prosecution will decide whether she should face a re-trial.

Heath Bowling (38), of Stockport, was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice by giving false details to the DVLA and police, which he had denied. He was bailed to face sentence next month.