Taxi Driver's Murder Reviewed After 29 years
6 November 2017, 11:13
Derek Brann's sons often reminisce about the happy memories they shared with him during their early years growing up in Folkestone.
But for every fond recollection of singing with the church choir or attending family events together, the shadow of their father's murder 29 years ago still looms large over everything else.
Aaron and Adrian Brann were only teenagers when their 48-year-old father's blood-soaked taxi was found abandoned in the layby of a residential area in Sandgate on the morning of Sunday 6 November 1988.
His lifeless body was discovered a fortnight later, dumped and hidden behind a crash barrier on the M20 motorway. He had been stabbed multiple times.
Twenty-nine years on and cold case detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are renewing their appeal for information about Mr Brann's murder in the hope that advancements in DNA technology may finally result in his killer being brought to justice.
'Dad was a very firm man, ex-military, but he was a very loving father as well,' said Aaron, who was just 15 at the time Mr Brann went missing.
'Still to this day I cannot understand why anybody would have done what they did to Dad. It's incomprehensible.
'It's difficult to live with but you just get on with your life. Since our mum died last January it has brought up all sorts of memories again, and reminded me of the desire we all have to get a positive conclusion to it all.'
Mr Brann and his sons were all members of their local parish church choir and sang together at a number of iconic venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Westminster Cathedral. He was also a member of the Lions Club of Folkestone and devoted several years to raising money for local causes.
On Bonfire Night in 1988, Mr Brann went to work in his taxi and was due home in the early hours of the following morning. He last made contact with his employer at about 2.30am and was never heard from again.
His wife Audrey reported him missing when he failed to return home, and at about 11.45am a member of the public reported the discovery of his red Nissan Bluebird taxi in a layby at the junction of Horn Street and Seabrook Court in Sandgate. Mr Brann's body was found two weeks later by a motorist who had broken down on the London-bound carriageway of the M20 near the junction for the Channel Tunnel.
Adrian Brann, who was 13 when his father died, said: 'My memories of that time are very hazy and I only really remember snippets, but they are always the worst snippets - the discovery of his body, the amount of times he had been stabbed and the amount of blood.
'I remember having nightmares on a regular basis, and can remember the door handle in my dream being a knife. I would wake up shouting until my mum came in. My father and I were very close and it has been hard for me personally. My life has not been straightforward since.'
Mr Brann's family are now appealing for anyone with information about his murder to come forward.
Adrian said: 'Somebody must know who did this and they possibly still live in the area. Nothing is going to bring Dad back but Mum has passed away not knowing who did it and as a family we just want a conclusion.'
Anyone with information about Mr Brann's death is urged to call 01634 884010 and leave a message for the cold case investigation team. Alternatively call Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.