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Cold case cops make arrest in connection with 2005 unsolved Paul Croft murder

Police have arrested a 27-year-old man linked to the unsolved murder of Salford teenager Paul Croft.

Paul, from Eccles, was beaten to death by a 15-strong gang with baseball bats and metal pipes on a park pathway in Pendlebury in March 2005.

It’s understood the suspect has previously been arrested in connection with the murder investigation.

Detectives believe the 19-year-old was severely and viciously assaulted while he walked with friend James Falconer along a route known locally as the Black Path, behind the Lord Nelson pub.

He was taken to hospital with serious and life-threatening injuries, spending a week on life support before passing away from internal brain injuries on 31 March 2005.

Since 2005 13 people age between 14 and 25 have been arrested in connection with the murder.

No-one has ever been charged with his death.

Police have always said they were confident they knew who Paul’s killers were but had met a “wall of silence” in questioning the local community.

A GMP review into the £1.5m investigation into his death found there had been some delay in questioning suspects and witnesses, as well as slow turnaround in the search and processing of clothes, fibres and other forensic evidence.

It is one of the most high-profile and longest running unsolved murders in recent Salford history.

His family, mother Sue and sister Chantelle, continue to appeal every year on the anniversary of his murder for witnesses to come forward.

Now Greater Manchester Police’s Cold Case Unit, which investigates unsolved crimes, pulled in a 27-year-old man for arrest.

The suspect has been bailed until Friday 15 September pending further enquiries, police report.

Main image: Paul Croft

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.