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12:25pm UK, Thursday April 05, 2012
A ‘gun-for-hire’ gangster has been arrested in Amsterdam after nine months on the run from British justice.
Kirk Bradley, 26, was on the ‘Most Wanted‘ list after escaping from a prison van in Manchester during his trial last summer.
In his absence he was convicted and jailed for life, with a minimum sentence of 22 years.
Bradley was held last night after detectives tracked him down and armed police raided a luxury flat in the Bijlmer region of the Dutch capital.
Kirk Bradley (L) and Tony Downes escaped from custody last July
He had fled the van along with co-defendant Anthony Downes – who was arrested two months ago, also in Amsterdam. Both are now awaiting extradition to the UK.
Ian Milne, head of European Operations for the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), told Sky News: “Like his partner-in-crime Tony Downes discovered just a few weeks ago, there is no such place as a safe haven. Bradley had no idea we were on to him.”
Bradley and Downes escaped from a prison van driving them to court in Liverpool in July, leading to the aborting of their trial for orchestrating a campaign of gun and grenade attacks on rivals in Merseyside.
A jury in a retrial in their absence convicted them and a judge sentenced them to life, saying they must serve at least 22 years before they would be eligible for parole.
Bradley was wearing flip-flops, shorts and a T-shirt when officers raided his apartment.
He is expected to be returned to the UK to serve a life jail term for leading an underworld gang responsible for a series of shootings, and leaving a hand grenade on the front wall of Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish’s home.