Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Attack man killed 'unlawfully'

Kevin Lavelle
Kevin Lavelle is survived by two young children

A coroner has recorded a verdict of unlawful killing after a man died following an attack with a metal bar outside an Oxfordshire pub.

Kevin Lavelle, 29, from Merseyside, died on 24 June 2004. No-one has ever been convicted over his death.

Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner said: "I do not know who used the metal bar.

"The use of it was totally out of proportion. It could not have been used in a legitimate fashion."

The inquest heard that Mr Lavelle was working in Banbury to save money for his wedding.

He got involved in an argument with a group of Welshmen who were also staying at the Cricketers Arms.

No compensation

One of the group, Ceri Noble, 43, from Rhondda was charged with his murder but the case collapsed in 2006 when it could not be proved who had dealt the fatal blow.

In 2008, Mr Lavelle's parents, fiancee and two children, were refused compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

The authority said Mr Lavelle had assaulted someone with a vacuum cleaner in a scuffle earlier that evening.

An inquest last year also recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

Reward offered

Thames Valley Police and Kevin Lavelle's family are offering an award of £20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

Det Insp Steve Duffy said, "It's been five years since Kevin was brutally attacked in Banbury and we are still determined to find out who was responsible."

"Kevin's death has left a big hole in our lives," said Mr Lavelle's fiancee Michelle, who has taken his surname since his death.

"The kids miss their dad - they ask me what his voice was like."



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