The family of an innocent Bradford dad who was murdered in the street more than 30 years ago is still fighting to find out who killed him.

Debbie Hutchinson says little progress has been made to identify the killers of her twin brother Brendan Penn, who was stabbed through the heart on August 15, 1991.

The siblings’ parents died within a year of each other never knowing justice for their son, who they missed deeply.

Speaking to the T&A Debbie, now 54, said: “It’s been going on a long time and we’re no further forward with anything.

“Everybody is going mad. We still don’t know who killed Brendan, and that’s not good enough. It’s frustrating and it makes us angry.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Brendan PennBrendan Penn

The 22-year-old father-of-three, who lived on Hastings Place in Marshfields, was on his way to visit friends when he was caught up in a street fight involving up to 60 people.

Brendan, described by Debbie as “a quiet lad” who enjoyed his music, intended to tell his friends that he had become a father for the third time.

But he blundered into a violent melee that, according to his sister, had grown out of a two-week feud over loud music at a shared property that eventually “came to a head”.

Brendan was attacked on Cecil Avenue, in Great Horton, and fatally injured. Police officers found him lying on the pavement.

He had been beaten and stabbed five times.

A dark saloon car, believed by the family to have been a taxi, carrying three men was seen speeding down Horton Park Avenue.

Despite being rushed to Bradford Royal Infirmary Brendan died from his wounds.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sister Debbie and brother TonySister Debbie and brother Tony (Image: T&A)

Debbie said: “He was at the hospital and his girlfriend had had their baby early. He came home to tell us and then was going to tell the lads.

“But when he got there [to Cecil Avenue] all the street was fighting. He just walked into it.

“As they were running away – because the police were coming – they stabbed him. They beat him and stabbed him five times, with one wound through the heart that killed him.

“He was left in the street. The police thought he was drunk. It was only when they went back to him that they saw he was injured.

“He died as soon as he got to the hospital. None of us were with him.

“I dreamed that he had been killed the night before. The police told us [he had died] at half past six in the morning.”

At an inquest in 1998 the coroner, Roger Whittaker, recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: How the T&A reported on the murder at the timeHow the T&A reported on the murder at the time

The senior detective that headed the murder inquiry told the inquest that Brendan had not been involved in the mass disturbance.

In the years since Brendan died his family has made repeated calls for information about the night he died – and begged witnesses to come forward.

But in more than three decades they have faced what they have described as “a wall of silence” from the dozens of people that were present at the scene on the night in question.

Debbie said: “I don’t have a clue why people are staying silent. The police told us that two people who were there that night are now too poorly to be interviewed about what went on.

“We are at loggerheads with the police. The last time we heard from the police was two years ago. They said they had found new DNA evidence and that they would keep us updated, but we haven’t heard a thing.”

She said the family had had to bear the added tragedy of losing their mother and father, June and Eddie, who died without ever knowing who killed their son.

“It just wrecked them,” said Debbie. “They wanted answers just like us. I have three more brothers and a sister. And Brendan’s children want justice, too.”

The murder inquiry was re-opened in 2009 in the hope that advances in forensic technology might lead to a breakthrough.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tony and Debbie appealing for information in 2010 after the inquiry was reopenedTony and Debbie appealing for information in 2010 after the inquiry was reopened

At the time sister Debbie and older brother Tony pleaded with anyone who had information to come forward.

They hoped the police could interview old witnesses but Tony said the community had “closed ranks” and sought reassurance that West Yorkshire Police were still working on the case.

But their plea fell on deaf ears, and whilst some people were charged with affray the murder remained unsolved – as it is today almost 33 years later.

Could DNA advances be the key? Debbie hopes so.

“I’m hoping that it could be. Three years ago, one of the detectives came back to us and said they had new evidence from the DNA [at the scene]. But they said they couldn’t tell us anything else.

“They said they’d update us when they could. Since then we’ve heard nothing. It’s the not knowing that upsets me.”

What happened to Brendan Penn?

Mr Penn had been walking along Cecil Avenue when he was caught up in violence between groups of people who were hurling abuse and brandishing weapons.

Det Supt Tony Whittle. Who headed the murder inquiry at the time, said Mr Penn had walked into a fight but had no part in it, and was not an aggressor.

He said “a false sense of loyalty” to those that attacked him had prompted witnesses to remain silent.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Brendan PennBrendan Penn (Image: Submitted)

No-one has ever been charged with his murder. The case remains unsolved.

Brendan died just three weeks after the birth of his third daughter, Charlotte, with childhood sweetheart Suzanne. Her sisters Roxanne and Tammy, who were 18 months old and three at the time their father died, are now all in their 30s.

Mrs Penn, who took the name of her common-law-husband after he died, was left to bring up their children alone.

Debbie said: “Tammy was always by his side. She never left him. They talk about him all the time. They’ve never forgotten him. Suzanne mentions him every day.

“My message to witnesses is this: check your consciences. Do the right thing. We want justice. Brendan was a really quiet lad who liked a drink and was music mad.

“Since he died we’ve been left in limbo. It’s awful. We hope a new appeal might jog people’s memories.”

Det Ch Insp Damian Roebuck, who leads West Yorkshire Police’s Major Investigation Review Team, said it remained “committed to getting justice for Brendan and his family”.

He urged anyone who may have information about those responsible for his death to come forward. He added: “Unsolved murders are never closed in West Yorkshire and every case is reviewed regularly in line with advances in forensic technology, to establish if there are further lines of enquiry available.

“I would also like to appeal to anyone with information about the incident in Cecil Avenue that night who has previously not come forward to police to do so, as they may have the piece of evidence which leads to someone finally being convicted for Brendan’s murder and his family receiving the closure they continue to desperately seek.”

The Major Investigation Review Team can be contacted by calling 101, or by using the livechat facility on the West Yorkshire Police website. Information can also be reported anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or online.