Anguish over Leeds unsolved murder

Len Farrar pictured with his adopted sister Christine Willans.
Len Farrar pictured with his adopted sister Christine Willans.
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IT is nine years today that the body of Len Farrar was found in his home by two police officers.

And it is also nine years and counting that his family have been waiting to see somebody brought to justice for his brutal murder.

Despite an extensive investigation by Holbeck CID in 2002 and a further two re-investigations, no-one has ever been charged with killing the 71-year-old.

Len’s adopted sister Christine Willans, 67, now lives in hope rather than expectation that the case will be solved in her lifetime.

Her youngest daughter Jane Rough, 45, is called once a year by a police family liaison officer to be told that the investigation remains open, but no further forward.

Jane still lives in Beeston, doors away from her mother, and a 15-minute walk away from the semi-detached house in Cardinal Road where her beloved ‘Uncle Jellybean’ lived.

His corpse was found by two PCs on May 4, 2002, when they called to say his lilac Fiat Panda had been found burnt out on nearby waste ground.

Getting no reply, one peered through the letterbox and saw the former coach driver and merchant seaman sprawled out on the floor covered in blood.

He had been stabbed around 30 times during a frenzied struggle which police believe began upstairs. Detectives later even took away a section of the staircase but forensic tests failed to pin-point a culprit.

Jane said: “It still remains a cold-case. It will always remain like that and will never be closed, according to the police.

“Mum and dad are away in Germany for the anniversary.

“They tend to like to go away this time of year, but a family occasion has also coincided.

“I remember when it was the fifth anniversary, that seems like a lifetime ago. Next time it will be 10 years.

“People in this area still say to me ‘they got who did it, didn’t they?’. But it remains unsolved.”

In 2005, the YEP revealed how detectives went to speak to Gary Bradley – the so-called “Beast of Beeston” – in Franklin Prison in Durham in connection with Mr Farrar’s murder.

Heroin addict Bradley earned his “beast” tag after a three-week reign of terror in the Beeston area during late 2002 which culminated in the murder of retired solicitor Chris Scholey, 51, who he stabbed to death in Cross Flatts Park on September 30.

But Bradley – who was jailed for life in October 2003 for murder and given a 10-year sentence to run concurrently for three other attacks on pensioners – refused to come out of his cell.

Later in April, 2009, the YEP also revealed how detectives from the West Yorkshire Homicide and Major Enquiry Team’s (Hmet) Review Team had taken up the case. The team was set up in 2006 and looks at unsolved ‘cold case’ murders from 1974 to the present.

Jane and her mother hoped they would make the breakthrough.

But two years later they are no further forward.

Jane said: “It’s not about us, it’s really about getting justice for Uncle Len. And there is Uncle Ken, Len’s older brother who’s in his 80s, to think about. He speaks of Uncle Len with great fondness, but doesn’t dwell on it. Time is passing on for him.”

She added: “You never give up hope. You just hope that somebody’s conscience might be pricked and someone comes forward and puts this case to rest.”

If you have any information call 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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