THE wife of a Sutton businessman gunned down on his own driveway nearly 10 years ago has made a fresh, emotional appeal to find his killer.
David Draycott was fatally shot outside his Woodlands Way home after parking his Mercedes on 7th October 2002 - a killing which sent shockwaves through the close-knit community where he lived.
But for his family, the unbearable grief has never disappeared as they continue to live each day in the knowledge that the 40-year-old’s killer is still at large.
His widow Andrea Draycott often thinks back to the night her husband was shot - and hopes a fresh appeal to find the gunman will finally bring closure for her and her family.
“It is hard to think where the last 10 years have gone, but not a day goes by when we don’t think about David,” she said.
“Memories of that fateful day remain with us all. For any family left behind after a loved one is deliberately targeted and killed, it is difficult to get over it happening, but for us it is even harder when those responsible have not been brought to justice.
“For someone to cut short David’s life in such a cold and calculating way is incomprehensible.
“Our children were very young when David was murdered. It has been heartbreaking for them to have to deal with the fact their dad would never be coming home, would not see them grow up, not see them go on to have successful lives, relationships or children.”
But Andrea and her family have been given hope that David’s killer will be snared by the conviction of Rene Sarpong, who murdered 16-year-old Brendon Lawrence in Nottingham in 2002.
Justice finally caught up Sarpong eight years after the murder, and Andrea hopes the public’s willingness to provide information in that case will be repeated in a fresh appeal over her husband’s murder.
“As the years passed by, I know the police never gave up the hunt for those responsible for either his death, or that of my husband,” she said.
“I got to know Brendon’s mother, Janice Collins, extremely well throughout that time, brought together by our personal tragedies.
“We wouldn’t give up hope, and took a stand against gun crime, becoming part of Mothers Against Guns, and I know that even though Janice is no longer with us, her legacy lives on and I continue to support that organisation.
“The public played a significant part in helping bring Brendon’s murderer to justice. Information from witnesses who were willing to speak to the police and help them piece together events leading up to his death made the difference. I am now asking for that same help for David’s sake and for that of our family.
“Someone in Nottinghamshire will have information about what happened the night David was murdered. They may have kept secrets for whoever is responsible over the last 10 years, but I am urging them to give us some kind of closure by helping the police find whoever killed my husband and the father of my children.”
Nottinghamshire murder squad detectives say the conviction of Sarpong and the end of a 25-year investigation which saw Paul Hutchinson jailed in January 2010 for the murder of Colette Aram shows the determination the force has in getting justice for victims.
Said Det Chief Supt Ian Waterfield, head of crime and justice: “With the constant advances in technology and forensics, more and more historic cases are being detected.
“We also know that people’s loyalties change over time and there may be someone who previously held back from giving information because they felt a personal duty to the killer, who may now consider telling us what they know.
“Andrea Draycott and family have had to endure a terrible ordeal for the past 10 years, and they cannot fully move on until whoever did this to David is brought to justice.
“I would appeal to anyone who may be holding information about what happened that night, or about whoever did this to come forward. We owe it to David’s family to find his killer - no matter how long it takes.”
l Anyone with information should contact 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.