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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Tom Duffy

Liverpool man wanted over gangland murders despite rumours of his death

A Liverpool man is wanted by police in relation to two notorious murders despite speculation he is dead.

Kevin Parle is wanted for questioning in relation to two murders which took place in 2004 and 2005. Liam Kelly was just 16 years old when he was shot dead in a Dingle Street. A year later, Liverpool mum Lucy Hargreaves was shot dead while she slept in her partner's home on Lambourne Road, Walton

The property was then torched and the circumstances around Lucy's death shocked the city. Parle, also known as 'Hemp' is wanted by police in relation the deaths of both Liam Kelly and Ms Hargreaves.

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Over recent years Peter Bleksley, a former Metropolitan police undercover detective, has led an investigation into Parle's whereabouts.

Mr Bleksley said to the ECHO : "I think there are two distinct camps or schools of thought on this. The first is that Parle is very much alive and well, and probably living in Spain. Only recently I received information around a credible sighting of Parle in Spain. The second camp believe that Parle was murdered many years ago, and is ' long gone.' Many individuals in the prison system believe this to be true.

"I have to be open minded over what happened to Parle. I think my position is that I will keep up my investigation into his whereabouts until there is hard evidence of his death. "

Over recent years Mr Bleksley has claimed to have received credible information that Parle has been protected by a sophisticated criminal network. The trained investigator has reported that Parle, six feet six inch tall and of heavy build, has spent time in Spain, Dubai and Thailand.

In an episode of his BBC podcast series Manhunt: Finding Kevin Parle, Mr Bleksley discusses tip offs that suggested Parle worked as an enforcer for a major gang based in Spain. That outfit is described as a drugs network with access to vast sums of money potentially laundered by a man referred to by Mr Bleksley as ‘Ian’.

He tells listeners: “I have what I believe to be very credible information that says Kevin Parle is Ian’s henchman.” The operation has links to the UK and Spain according to Mr Bleksley’s intelligence.

Liverpool men Tony Downes and Kirk Bradley went on trial for Ms Hargreaves murder at Liverpool Crown Court in 2007, but were acquitted midway through the case after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to proceed. Downes and Bradley later received life sentences for their roles in a gang war.

In 2021 Ms Hargreaves' partner Gary Campbell claimed he was the intended target of the attack. Mr Campbell told the ECHO that he was not in a car that ran over and killed Tony Downes' younger brother Kevin, in 1993.

Liverpool Crown Court had heard this incident was the motive for the attack on Mr Campbell's home, which led to his partner's death. Mr Campbell described horrific scenes to the ECHO when he recalled jumping out a window with his daughter. He then went back inside the burning house to recover his partner's body.

Merseyside Police chose not make a comment on Parle's whereabouts.

A statement on the National Crime Agency's website reads: "Kevin Thomas Parle is wanted in connection with the murders in Liverpool of 16yr old Liam Kelly in 2004 & Lucy Hargreaves in 2005."

Anyone with information about Kevin Parle should call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.

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