Lancashire

Suspect in Paul Brady disappearance has case dropped

Paul Brady
Image caption Paul Brady has not been since 1 August last year

A man charged with the murder and kidnap of a father-of-four has had the case against him dropped, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.

Paul Brady, 44, from Rochdale, was last seen getting into a van in Bacup, Lancashire, on 1 August last year.

Prosecutors offered no evidence against Mark Azzopardi, 41, of Rocket Way, Salford, at Preston Crown Court.

Three others charged in connection with Mr Brady's disappearance are due to stand trial later this year.

Paul Devalda, 34, of Padiham Road, Burnley was charged with murder and conspiracy to kidnap.

A man, 37, from Stockport, has previously been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and a woman, 27, of Padiham, has been charged with assisting an offender.

"On the evidence available at the time of the decision to charge Mark Azzopardi we were satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to do so," Lancashire Police said.

"However we have a duty to keep all cases under continuous review and after a further review of the case we have, in consultation with the CPS, now reached a decision that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction."

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