Update: Kevin Lavelle Murder in Banbury

1 January 2013, 08:07 | Updated: 1 January 2013, 08:11

A detective leading the investigation into the murder of a father in a pub eight years ago has appealed for a mystery man who telephoned him with information to call back

The Welsh caller left a brief message on the mobile phone of Detective Inspector Steve Duffy about the killing in June 2004 of Kevin Lavelle but failed to leave his contact details.

The call was made from the Rhondda area on Saturday, eight days after a team of Thames Valley Police detectives travelled to South Wales to reappeal for information about Mr Lavelle's murder.

The crane operator was beaten with an iron bar in the Cricketers pub in Banbury after a row in a gang attack with some Welsh railway workers who were also staying at the pub. 

Mr Lavelle, 29, from Bootle, Merseyside, was only working in Oxfordshire to save up money to marry his fiancee Michelle Thomas, and he suffered 50 injuries.

A trial at Oxford Crown Court in 2006 of a man accused of the murder collapsed when members of the gang would not reveal who had struck the fatal blows. 

DNA evidence found on the bar came from three men but it could not be proved which one had used it to kill Mr Lavelle.

An inquest in 2009 found that the father-of-two died as a result of the injuries he sustained during the attack on the night of the England v Portugal game during Euro 2004. 

Today Mr Duffy urged the caller to pick up the phone again. He said: "I would urge this man to call me back as soon as possible as he did not leave any contact details.

"I would also say to him that if he doesn't feel comfortable talking to me, or if he has any reservations, he could still contact Crimestoppers anonymously and pass on any information.

"It has been eight years since Kevin Lavelle was murdered and his family desperately want and deserve justice. 

"They have been through an agonising ordeal and I firmly believe there are people in both south Wales and Banbury who have information which is vital to our inquiry.

"As I have previously said, those who have information and have not yet come forward must do so now.

"The guilt will never go away and Mr Lavelle's family will never find peace until the person or people responsible for his death are brought to justice.''

Thames Valley Police has offered a #20,000 reward, and Crimestoppers has put up an enhanced #5,000 offer for anyone who wants to disclose information anonymously. Anyone with information about the murder can contact Mr Duffy directly on 07800703285, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.