A FAMILY are pleading for justice after a beloved father was murdered in Colchester.

Grant Byrom, 30, was killed on Boxing Day 1998, in Forest Road, Greenstead.

Nobody has ever been arrested.

For seven-and-a-half months they waited for a funeral, for seven years they waited for an inquest and now they have been waiting 15 years for justice.

Today Essex Police released a picture of the man wanted on suspicion of the murder - Michael Donnelly.

Daughter Tanya, who is now 25 and a mother herself, said: “It is still painful.

“Everyone wants their parents to be there at Christmas.

“I remember he was a brilliant dad who did his best.

“We did not have a lot of money. I remember him giving me two and one pennies to get a pint of milk.

“When Mum told us he had been murdered I ran and jumped on my Grandad’s lap screaming ‘get me my Dad’.

“We still want justice. There is someone out there who has murdered my dad who thinks they have got away with it.

“My mum has been fantastic but I am a Daddy’s girl.”

The family, including former partner Suzanne and Grant’s son Dean, 22, who all still live in Colchester, visit his grave every Boxing Day and light a candle in memory of the man they will never forget.

On the day he died Mr Byrom - or Granny as he was known by many - had been playing football before getting into a scuffle in the Clarendon Pub, Harwich Road.

He later went to Forest Road and was confronted by three men, one of whom stabbed him in the chest.

The attackers fled and Mr Byrom died from his wounds at Colchester General Hospital.

Former partner Suzanne said: “All we have are our memories and no chance of new ones.

“I see him in his kid’s every day. Dean walks and talks like him and Tanya has his smile.

“I sometimes feel I have failed them, not getting them justice.”

The family were visited by Det Insp Anne Cameron on Friday who promised to do all she could to bring his killer to justice.

Suzanne said: “She has given us hope. They are not saying they will get him but they will do everything they can which is all we can ask.

“They have given us hope we have not had for 15 years.

“I want to thank the Gazette for getting this going again and the CID for trying.”

Det Insp Cameron said: “A murder case is never filed away and we are still actively trying to progress this investigation.

“It has been 15 years since Grant Byrom was murdered in Colchester and his family along with the community have the right to see justice for this callous act.

“Michael Seamus Donnelly is wanted on suspicion of murder and although detectives do make regular enquiries to trace him we are advised that he no longer lives in England.

“We are keen to locate Mr Donnelly and want to hear from anyone who has any information about his whereabouts.

“We would also like to hear from anyone, who has not yet spoken to police, with further information about the murder of Mr Byrom.”

A photograph of Michael Donnelly has been released but is 15 years old.

Anyone who can help should contact Essex Police on 101 or call Colchester Major Crime office on 01206 576845.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.