‘Mr Big’ with Towyn links shot dead in city garden Friends pay tribute to businessman as ‘the most genuine man’
AMAN once branded a city’s “Mr Big” has been shot dead. Paul Massey was gunned down outside his home on Manchester Road, Clifton.
The Weekly News understands the 55-year-old was well-known in North Wales and spent many months at a caravan in Tŷ Mawr holiday park in Towyn. It is also believed he ran security on several holiday parks in the region.
The Manchester Evening News reported how the businessman, who was given a 14-year jail sentence in the 1990s after a knife attack on a man in Manchester city centre, spoke earlier this year of his “hell” after being on bail for more than three years.
The paper understands Mr Massey suffered fatal injuries after he was shot in his garden on Sunday night. Several armed officers could be seen on the street and a large cordon was in place. An eyewitness said Mr Massey was shot dead by a lone gunman on foot.
It’s understood that after being shot Mr Massey called for a friend, who raced to his home and was detained by police before being released.
Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said: “People will understandably be alarmed when they hear about this incident which we believe was a targeted attack.
“I would like to reassure the public that we have a heightened level of police officers in the area while we establish the full circumstances of the incident and identify those responsible. We are actively following a number of lines of enquiry, however, I would urge the local community to come forward if they saw or heard anything.”
A post-mortem examination and formal identification are yet to take place.
Mr Massey was jailed in 1999 after he stabbed a man in the groin, severing an artery. Since his release from jail, it is understood he has been involved in the security business and acquiring property in Manchester.
Before his conviction, he was regarded as a “target criminal” by police. He had reportedly acted as a “mediator” to calm feuds between gangs elsewhere in the country. In 2012, he stood as an unsuccessful candidate to become Salford’s first elected mayor.
In April, Mr Massey spoke to the Manchester Evening News after suggestions he had been asked by police to intervene after a series of violent incidents in the city. He insisted the rumours were untrue.
Gloria Brown, of Rhyl, said: “Fellow resident, Geraldine Griffiths and I have known Paul for about five years now. When Geraldine lost her leg, he spent many hours by her bedside and even took us to a show, no expense spared.
“He was only here a few weeks ago and could not understand why no adaptations had been done to Geraldine’s home and promised to help – he was Mr Kindness himself.
“Our heart felt condolences go out to his family at this sad time, they called him Salford’s Mr Big but it should be Mr Big Hearted. I just hope all those he helped will now help his family.”
Geraldine Griffiths added: “Paul was painted as a rogue but he was the most genuine man I ever came across. He really wasn’t as bad as people make out. We are now going to be organising a fundraiser with proceeds going to his wife.”
Paul Massey, 55. Inset below, tributes left near the scene where Paul was killed