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West Mercia police have reopened their inquiry into the unsolved murder of an antiques runner and knocker 13 years ago.

They are offering a reward of £10,000 for crucial information leading to the capture and conviction of those involved in the killing of Ludlow dealer, Trevor Bradley, who was found in his burnt out vehicle in a field close to the village of Melverley, Shropshire on April 27, 1994.

The 53 year old was said to be in possession of a valuable painting prior to his death that he was eager to offload. The painting, approximately 3ft x 2ft in size, depicted an interior scene and featured a man and woman seated either side of a large fireplace. In front of each figure was a dog. The description made by a witness at the time, helped, a police artist create an impression of the painting.

Detective Inspector Andy Parsons, from the force's major investigation unit, is leading the case review of Mr Bradley's death. He believes that potential witnesses who were reluctant to come forward just after the killing will be more prepared to do so now.

"Mr Bradley met his death in an horrific manner and his family deserve to see those responsible for his death brought to justice," he told ATG.

"We know that some witnesses may have been reluctant to come forward with vital information because of certain loyalties, fear or mistrust of police at the time of his death. After 13 years, situations can change," said Inspector Parsons.

Witnesses at the time described Mr Bradley as a 'knocker'. He travelled across Shropshire and neighbouring areas buying and selling antiques and bric-a-brac, trading in clocks, paintings, furniture and jewellery among other items.

The painting, if it ever existed, has never been identified or recovered. However, police believe that, as many years have passed, it may have entered the trade legitimately.

Anyone with information is asked to call the investigation team on 01952 216444. For those who prefer not to be identified, information can be passed to police anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

By Laura Nightingale