THE family of a man found beaten and stabbed in a field 14 years ago have said they “deserve to see justice done” after police relaunched the murder investigation.
• Steven Brown’s body was found in East Lothian in February 1999
• Mr Brown’s brothers said: ‘No one has ever been brought to justice for this crime, and it is great...that police have not given up’
• Large group of men and women believed to be involved in disturbance heard prior to discovery of body
And they insisted people in the community of Tranent, East Lothian, know who killed Steven Brown, and urged them to come forward.
The family were speaking after Lothian and Borders Police announced they were reinvestigating the murder in a cold case review.
The body of Mr Brown, 35, was discovered on the ground near Elphinstone in Tranent, East Lothian, on 21 February, 1999.
Police said they are determined to get justice for the father-of-three and plan to re-interview key witnesses, speak to local residents and revisit several sites.
Crimestoppers has offered a £5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.
Mr Brown’s brothers Colin, 57, William, 48, and Kenneth, 56, said in a statement issued by police: “No one has ever been brought to justice for this crime, and it is great to see that police have not given up on finding those responsible.
“Steven’s murder affected the lives of a lot of innocent people, not least his family.
“Steven had three daughters, three brothers, a sister, and a mother and a father, and we all deserve to see justice done.
“It has been a difficult time for the family, knowing that there are those in the local community who know what happened to Steven that night.
“It would be a great comfort to us to see the culprits finally convicted, and give our family the closure we so desperately need.
“We are appealing to people in Tranent who have information regarding Steven’s murder to contact the police and help us achieve justice.”
Steven’s ex-partner Wilma Brown, 48, who is mother to his teenage daughter, added: “I am grateful that the police have reopened this inquiry as I have been trying for years to get justice for Steven.
“Steven never had the opportunity to get to know his daughter. He also raised my own son as his own.
“We would ask people to come forward and tell the truth now, and help us put his memory to rest.”
Witnesses at the time of the murder reported hearing a disturbance in nearby Kerr Road in Tranent at around midnight the previous evening.
A large group of men and women are thought to have been involved and it is believed Mr Brown was attacked during the incident.
Three local men were charged with the murder of Mr Brown, three days after his body was found, but were later released due to a lack of evidence.
Police hope that changed loyalties and circumstances since then may mean people who were reluctant to speak previously will do so now.
During the original inquiry, detectives believed the murder may have been the culmination of a feud over a broken window.
Detective Inspector Gary Boyd from Lothian and Borders Police said: “It is now almost 14 years since Steven Brown was murdered and we are determined to bring those responsible to justice.
“We firmly believe that the key to solving his murder lies in the local community, and we are appealing directly to anyone with information to come forward and help Steven’s family put his memory to rest.
“We understand that people may have previously been reluctant to approach police with any information they had at the time of his murder, however as time has passed people’s personal circumstances and loyalties may have changed, and they may now be willing to share any information they have with us.
“We believe that with the community’s help we can finally bring those responsible for Steven’s death to justice.”