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Murdered Melanie's friend in appeal

The best friend of a teenager brutally murdered on a night out nearly 30 years ago has joined appeals to catch her killer.

Susie Lecomber, 47, has spoken publicly for the first time about her friendship with 17-year-old Melanie Road in the hope of bringing the man responsible to justice.

The schoolgirl was sexually assaulted and died from multiple stab wounds to her chest and back during the early hours of June 9, 1984 in Bath, Somerset following a night out in the city.

Avon and Somerset detectives have a full DNA profile of the man responsible and are testing hundreds of men to find a match.

They have also revealed that a new witnesses had come forward to say they saw a man and a young woman arguing close to where Melanie's body was found on the night she died.

Mrs Lecomber described how Melanie's death has affected her over the past 30 years and said that talking about her friend used to leave her "shaking and my teeth chattering".

She urged anyone with information about the A-level student's death to come forward and contact the police.

"It appears that we have got one big last chance to sort this out," she said.

"Maybe this is the opportunity we have. We have the DNA there, we have this new witness who came forward - maybe this is the last push.

"I would desperately like to be able to stop thinking about her death and think more about when she was alive and friendship we had."

The two girls met for the first time in 1982 when they both joined Bath High School.

Mrs Lecomber, who is now a mother of two and works as an osteopath in Bath, said: "We were young, we were silly and foolish and we liked doing silly things like making up dance routines to Michael Jackson together.

"We laughed a lot and giggled a lot."

She described how Melanie was popular, hardworking and was even made a prefect.

"She was one of those people who was kind, caring but had confidence," she said.

The pair were only friends for two years but in that time enjoyed the pleasures of any normal teenage friendship from trips to London to watch Top of the Pops to holidays to Salcombe.

Earlier this week, Melanie's mother Jean Road, now 79, and her elder sister Karen also appealed for the public's help to catch her killer.

On the night of Friday June 8 1984 she went out for the evening with her boyfriend and other friends to the Beau Nash, a nightclub in Kingston Parade, a road which is now part of the new Southgate development.

Melanie left the club 1.30am on June 9 and was last seen alive by her friends a short time later in Broad Street.

She had decided to walk home alone, a journey that should have taken between 15 and 20 minutes.

Her body was discovered at 5.30am that day by a milkman and his 10-year-old son close to a block of garages in St Stephens Court, Lansdown - a short distance from her home.


From Belfast Telegraph