THE FAMILY of a man murdered 10 years ago this month have made an emotional plea for help in finding the killer.
Father-of-two Kevin Lavelle was killed by a blow to the head at a Banbury pub in June 2004.
Police say 10 people were in the Cricketer’s Arms on the Grimbsbury estate and at least one of them knows who killed the 29-year-old.
Yesterday Mr Lavelle’s mother Joan wept as she told a press conference: “How can they live with this? We feel they are laughing at us. They know who has done this.”
And the 67-year-old said: “Please come forward and take this pain from our hearts.”
Mr Lavelle was working as a crane operator in Banbury and was living above the pub with a friend and a group of Welshmen when a fight broke out among the residents. He was killed with his own dumbbell bar. Thames Valley Police’s major crime review team has taken over the investigation following the retirement of Detective Inspector Steve Duffy in February.
Officers have since visited South Wales and also re-interviewed the former landlord and landlady of the Middleton Road pub.
Principal investigator Pete Beirne said: “At the time all (the witnesses) gave accounts of what happened. However, we do know that not everybody was entirely truthful as to what they recollected.
“As a result of that Kevin’s killer remains at large.
“We want to do all we can to make sure whoever is responsible for Kevin’s death is brought to justice.”
Mr Lavelle’s family travelled from Liverpool for the briefing at Thames Valley Police headquarters in Kidlington. Also at the briefing were dad Patrick, 67, Kevin’s widow Michelle, 42, sister Lesley, 43, and mother-in-law Linda Thomas, 66.
Mr Lavelle also left behind two young children – James, now 11, and Megan, 10.
Principal investigator Pete Beirne with Kevin’s mum Joan Lavelle and dad Patrick.
Listen to the press conference in full. The first voice is principal investigator Pete Beirne, of the major crime review team. The second voice is Steve Duffy, who lead the case for nearly 10 years before retiring in February, before you hear Kevin's family: Mother Joan, dad Patrick, sister Lesley, wife Michelle, and mother-in-law Linda Thomas.
Thames Valley Police is offering a £20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction and charity Crimestoppers is offering £5,000.
Mr Duffy, who led the case for 10 years, said: “This is a solvable murder. The reason it is solvable is it was witnessed.
“There are people who were there. I would appeal to them to have the moral courage now to come forward. They must be aware that this is not going to go away.”
A 2006 criminal prosecution against Ceri Noble, of Pontygaith, South Wales, collapsed after a judge said it was impossible to say who struck the fatal blow.
Phone Mr Beirne on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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