‘Help us find Joy’s killer’

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A Bedfordshire woman has made an emotional appeal to help trace the killer of a primary school teacher, 20 years after she was attacked in her own home.

The distraught sister of Joy Hewer, who was stabbed and sexually assaulted in her Walthamstow flat in 1995, said the thought of the attacker never being brought to justice was hard to accept.

Penny Barnes, 62, said: “Joy was our loving sister who was absolutely no harm to anyone. We couldn’t think of a person less likely to be attacked in this way.

“She’d enjoyed her work as a teacher, adored her nieces and nephews and was fantastic with children. She regularly attended church and often helped at charity events.

“We’ve never forgotten the moment we were told she’d been murdered. It will never make any sense to us.

“Joy was someone who would go out of her way to help others. She lived a quiet and peaceful life which was totally at odds with her last terrifying moments.

“We need to see closure and can’t face another 20 years of unanswered questions.”

Joy, a devout Christian, was 52 at the time of her death.

Following numerous police appeals detectives were able to piece together Joy’s last movements.

Officers are aware that Joy visited the London Healing Mission, in Notting Hill, W2 on the afternoon she was murdered.

She carried out voluntary work at the Centre and was seen by a colleague leaving the Mission at around 3.30pm.

A neighbour confirmed hearing loud noises or banging coming from Joy’s flat at around 10.30pm.

At 11.18pm a phone call was made from a public telephone box along Fulbourne Road, Walthamstow. The male caller was requesting assistance from the London Fire Brigade, having seen smoke coming from Joy’s flat. He is still being sought as part of the investigation as he could hold vital clues.

Police are also releasing a digitally enhanced CCTV still of a man they would like to trace. He was captured as he entered the front of St David’s Court at around 10.30pm.

He is white, aged between 30 to 40 years, although will now be aged between 50 and 60 years, with short hair.

Detective Inspector Susan Stansfield, of the Met’s Special Casework Investigation Team said: “We hope that this latest appeal will see someone with the final piece to the jigsaw to speak out.

“Anyone with any information is asked to contact our Incident Room on 020 7230 7963; alternatively, to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”