Fears of vigilante killing after missing rapist's body is found in underground drain

Convicted rapist Alan Street is believed to have been murdered in a house in Padiham, Lancashire last month

Convicted rapist Alan Street is believed to have been murdered in a house in Padiham, Lancashire last month

Detectives investigating the murder of a convicted rapist today confirmed his body was found in an underground drain.

Alan Street is thought to have been killed by a vigilante mob at a house in Padiham, Lancashire, last month after police found blood matching his DNA.

Police believe a 'sustained and prolonged attack' took place at the property in Stockbridge Road in the early hours of December 21.

Street, 26, from Oswaldtwistle, was convicted of rape in 1999.

He was jailed and placed on the sex offender register but repeatedly ignored court orders by drifting between addresses.

It is believed his killers discovered his past when Street turned up in Padiham.

Lancashire police today confirmed a body recovered from a culvert in Accrington was Street.

Contractors working for the Environment Agency alerted police yesterday after finding the body during a routine CCTV inspection of Woodnook Water, Mount Street.

Street's body was recovered by underwater search teams and a post mortem examination took place late last night.

Police said further tests were needed to establish the exact cause of death but confirmed Street did not die of natural causes or accidental injuries.

Kieran Davison, 20, of Stockbridge Road, and Ian Palmer, 45, of Whitegate Close, both Padiham, have been charged with murder.

Detectives are still trying to trace two men, Alan Palmer, 43, and Peter Leonard, 51, in connection with Street's death.

It is believed both men may have left the county as Mr Palmer is a long-distance lorry driver.

Detective Superintendent Neil Hunter, of Lancashire Police, who is leading the investigation said: 'I still want to question Palmer and Leonard.

'We are as committed as ever to finding them.'

Alan Palmer
Peter Leonard

Police are looking for Alan Palmer (left) and Peter Leonard

Mr Palmer is white, 5ft 11ins, of medium build, with receding/skinhead dark brown hair.

He has brown eyes and several tattoos on his left arm of a snake head, bull, eagle and swallow.

On his right arm he has a snake and skull, and two flower designs with 'MAM' and 'LUCKY' with a swallow.

Mr Leonard is white, around 5ft 8ins, of medium build, with blue eyes and light brown hair, which is cropped very short.

He has a two-inch injury scar on his nose and 'LOVE' tattooed on the knuckles of his left hand with 'HEIDI' on the back of his left hand.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Burnley police on 01282 425001 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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