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Family of murdered Achill man make renewed appeal

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Family of murdered Achill man make renewed appeal


Anton McNulty

THE family of an Achill man murdered in London ten years ago have appealed for people who may have seen what happened to him to talk to the police in order to give his family closure.
Martin Lavelle (48) pictured, a native of Cabaun, Achill was assaulted when he was mugged on January 4, 2000 and died from severe head injuries in hospital on January 22. Despite an extensive police investigation and an award being offered looking for information, nobody has been arrested or charged with Martin’s murder.
His sister Mary Cafferkey told The Mayo News that the last ten years have been difficult for the family but they have not given up hope of getting justice for Martin. She said that she knows people saw what happened to Martin and hopes that someone will come forward and tell the police of what happened on that January night.
“The case is still open and ten years on I hope this appeal will jerk people’s consciousness if they are reminded of it and come forward to talk about what happened to Martin. We know that there are five to six people who know what happened who have not come forward. He was robbed but I don’t think whoever did this intended to kill him,” she explained.
Martin - a steel fitter - was assaulted in Mayrick Road, Willesden and found slumped on the pavement close to his home between 11pm and 11.30pm. A friend of the victim later found Martin who said another man was crouching down by a nearby car and he ran away. Martin was left in his flat by his friend but two days later friends found him in a distressed state when they forced their way into his flat after becoming worried.
An ambulance was called to take him to the Central Middlesex Hospital where his condition went rapidly downhill, which necessitated Intensive Care treatment. Martin’s inquest heard that no intensive care beds were available in London and he was forced to undertake a 70 mile journey to the John Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford on January 17. He died five days later with the cause of death given as severe head injuries.
Mary said that she had been in touch with Central Middlesex Hospital following his admission and was repeatedly told he would be fine. She added that she was told by doctors at John Radcliffe Infirmary that they would have been able to save his life if he had been admitted at least 12 hours earlier.
“The last decade have been very very difficult for us and there were so many different occasions and family functions which Martin missed. His father died in the meantime without knowing what happened to his son. I won’t give up hope and the police have guaranteed that they won’t close the case and maybe if someone comes forward it will give us closure.”
Anyone who may have seen what happened to Martin is asked to contact the Metropolitan Police on 0181 358 1766 or by phoning crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.