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17 years on, who killed Thomas Breen?

Builder was stabbed to death in Camden High Street in 2002

08 August, 2019 — By Richard Osley

Thomas Breen

ONE of Camden Town’s longest-running crime mysteries continues with the family of a builder stabbed to death in Camden High Street almost two decades ago still hoping that the murder will one day be solved.

Flowers have appeared close to the site where Thomas Breen was killed every year since his death in August 2002. This Saturday marks the 17th anniversary with the killer still evading detectives.

The New Journal has repeatedly written about the case to ensure that Mr Breen’s death is not forgotten, and our coverage has included travelling to his home­town in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, where his family remain devastated that they have never seen justice.

The files were looked at again by cold-case detectives two years ago, raising hope that somebody will face ultimately face a courtroom and a jury, but nobody has been charged.

Holborn and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer, the former director of public prosecutions, had asked for the case to be reviewed.

He said then that there were “no time limits on justice”.

At one stage, it is understood that police believed the killer may have been playing games with them by responding to a past appeal for help with a letter misdirecting the inquiry. The canal was searched for the weapon and a witness traumatised by what he saw has tried hypnosis to try and piece together what happened.

Relatives have previously been briefed that detectives have a good idea who wielded the knife but have been unable to secure the crucial evidence likely to lead to a guilty verdict.

Mr Breen, 50, had been stabbed in the chest in an unprovoked attack close to the crossroads in Jamestown Road.

It remains the only unsolved murder from a violent summer in Camden Town which saw six people die in a string of unrelated killings on the streets.

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