Fugitive Kirk Bradley captured in Amsterdam

 

One of the UK's most wanted crimelords has been captured in Holland.

Kirk Bradley, who had been on the run since fleeing a Manchester prison van last July, was arrested with his uncle in Amsterdam last night, the Serious Organised Crime Agency said.

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.

Fugitive Bradley was wearing flip-flops, shorts and a T-shirt when officers raided his luxury apartment in the Bijlmer region of Amsterdam.

He is expected to face an extradition hearing in the Dutch city later today, Soca said.

An international search had been going for months since he escaped the van with Anthony Downes while en route for trial.

Downes was also arrested in Holland and is fighting extradition proceedings after both were convicted in their absence earlier this year.

Ian Milne, head of European operations for the Serious Organised Crime Agency, said: "Like his partner in crime Anthony Downes discovered only a few weeks ago, there is no such place as a safe haven. Kirk Bradley was shocked when officers burst through the door of his luxury apartment in Amsterdam. He had no idea we were on to him.

"Joint working with Merseyside Police and the Amsterdam police has led to the capture of these two violent and dangerous individuals.

"They are now back behind bars where they belong. This shows that criminals who flee to other countries are not beyond our reach."

A specialist arrest team from the Amsterdam police arrested him on a British-issued European arrest warrant.

Arno Julsing, chief of detectives for the Amsterdam police, said: "What a successful arrest.

"The collaboration with our British colleagues has so far been fantastic. Together we have managed to apprehend many dozens of dangerous criminals in the last couple of years.

"Our approach works and we have found that the number of fugitives hiding in Amsterdam is decreasing. Our message 'Amsterdam is not the place to be' has apparently been heard. Those who still don't get it will be traced, arrested and handed over to the British authorities."

Bradley and Downes, both 26, face a minimum tariff of 22 years after being convicted at Woolwich Crown Court.

Detective Superintendent Richie Davies, of Merseyside Police, hailed the "excellent arrest".

He said: "The capture of Bradley, and Downes before him, underlines Merseyside Police's commitment to work with other authorities to ensure that serious criminals have no place to hide.

"The sentence handed down to Bradley highlights the real risk that he posed to the people of Merseyside and beyond. We will act on all information provided to take dangerous criminals from our streets, which we cannot do without the assistance of the community."

Bradley and Downes, who described themselves as blood brothers, ran a criminal network between 2009 and 2010.

Three gang members who worked for them admitted possessing firearms and causing criminal damage with intent to endanger life and were jailed in March.

Gary Wilson, 27, of Promenade in Southport, was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years; Joseph Farrell, 23, of Brandearth Hey in Stockbridge Village, Knowsley, will serve a minimum of 12 years, and Craig Riley, 25, of Boode Croft, also in Stockbridge Village, will serve a minimum of 14 years.

The gang carried out shootings and grenade attacks and operated on behalf of others in the Liverpool underworld.

The grenade was left on Mr Dalglish's front wall in July 2009, when he was not Liverpool's manager, but it was not intended for him.

Bradley's uncle Raymond, from Woolton, was arrested in central Amsterdam for possession of cocaine with intent to supply, the Merseyside force added.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore