'Callous' murderers of male model jailed for life

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The Independent Online

Two men have been jailed for life for the kidnap and "cold-blooded killing" of a former male model whose remains were discovered almost two years after his death.

Michael Weldon, 56, and Mark Price, 41, were convicted at Birmingham Crown Court of the murder of Andre Nunes, whose body was found buried in Worcestershire in August last year.

The pair went to the home of Mr Nunes, 47, in Selly Oak, Birmingham, armed with shotguns and took him away to his death on 11 September 2005, jurors were told during the nine-week trial. Mr Nunes' disappearance remained a mystery until his burnt remains were found buried in a field.

Sentencing Weldon to a minimum term of 23 years in prison, the judge said: "This was a callous and cold-blooded killing."

Price was sentenced to a minimum term of 15 years in prison. A third man, Michael Oliver, 52, was convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He had already pleaded guilty to separate firearms offences and was given a total of 15 years in prison.

Mr Nunes worked as a fashion model in the 1980s, both on the catwalk and in magazines, and was described by his family as a "loveable eccentric", who was "adored by all".

The prosecution alleged that Weldon was the driving force behind the killing. He was looking for another man, who he believed had assaulted a relative, when he went with armed accomplices to Mr Nunes' flat, jurors heard. At some stage, said Rex Tedd QC, for the prosecution, Mr Nunes – possibly mistaken for the other man – was murdered.