Cold case update: ‘Answers lie in community’ say detectives as they release efit image of suspected killer

E-fit of the man wanted for questioning by police
E-fit of the man wanted for questioning by police

Police have released an e-fit image of a suspected road rage killer, who struck 21 years ago.

Detectives are re-investigating the murder of Featherstone father-of-four Peter Swailes, who died following an attack on Garmill Lane in Fitzwilliam on Friday, February 9 1996.

Mr Swailes struck round the head with a blunt weapon, believed to have been a wooden club.

Mr Swailes struck round the head with a blunt weapon, believed to have been a wooden club.

He was struck round the head with a blunt weapon, believed to have been a wooden club.

Today, officers have released a sketch of the weapon, an e-fit image of the suspect and an Avia watch found at the scene, believed to have belonged to Mr Swailes’ attacker.

They hope by revisiting the case they can get answers for Mr Swailes’ devastated family and bring his killer to justice.

Speaking on BBC Crimewatch last night, Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dunkerley of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team said: “After 21 years, I think somebody out there knows the answers and they know who did this.

The Avia watch found at the scene, believed to have belonged to Mr Swailes attacker.

The Avia watch found at the scene, believed to have belonged to Mr Swailes attacker.

“21 years further down the line, I think loyalties have changed and people may now be able to come forward and give us information that they felt they couldn’t no in the past.

“And I am hopeful that we can do that for the family.”

He added: “This is a tight knit community and I firmly believe the answers lie within that community.”

The Crimewatch reconstruction of the attack showed Mr Swailes returning home from a night out in Pontefract with his sister and brother-in-law between 2.30am and 3am.

Peter Swailes

Peter Swailes

While driving on Garmill Lane, a Maestro type car drove up behind them and began to flash its headlights.

The trio pulled over in their Triumph Acclaim car, parking in the middle of the road to block it.

Mr Swailes and his brother-in-law got out to speak with the occupants of the Maestro hatchback, which was described as either green or dark blue.

The pair argued with the male driver of the Maestro before getting back in their car.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dunkerley of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team is appealing for information.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dunkerley of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team is appealing for information.

A few seconds later the passenger window of their car was smashed.

Mr Swailes got out and was struck over the head with a blunt object, believed to be a club-shaped wooden bat.

The Maestro driver then got back in his car and did a three point turn to head back in the direction of Nostell Priory.

Mr Swailes died in hospital from his injuries.

The driver of the Maestro was 6ft to 6ft 2ins tall, slim and between 20 and 30 years of age. He had short coloured dark hair in a crewcut style.

He spoke with a local accent and was wearing blue denim jeans, training shoes, and a sports type top with a high collar which was zipped or fastened up.

Another car and a bus drove by the two vehicles while the incident was ongoing, and the drivers of both vehicles were spoken to.

Anyone who can assist the investigation is asked to contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on 101 referencing Operation Pippenmount. Callers can also speak with the independent charity Crimestoppers in total anonymity on 0800 555 111.

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