Son pays tribute as hunt for pensioner’s killer continues

THE son of murdered pensioner Llywelyn Thomas has paid tribute to his father in the week he was due to turn 77.

Mr Thomas was found dead at his home in Ely Road on Sunday, December 18. It is believed he was killed during a botched burglary the previous night.

The 76-year-old retired farmer and agricultural engineer had moved to Chittering with his late wife after he retired, so they could be closer to their son, Richard.

They spotted the old chapel in Ely Road and renovated it into their home.

On Monday, (March 19), Richard, 50, paid tribute to his father and appealed for people to come forward with information about his killing.

The Cambridge University graduate said: “Sadly my mum died shortly after they moved to Cambridgeshire. There was a chance my dad might have moved back to Wales as he didn’t know many people in the area and he found it all a bit flat after living amongst mountains.

“But he decided to stay and ended up really enjoying living in the Cambridge area and had absolutely no intention of moving back to Wales. The extraordinary thing is, in the end, whilst Wales was his heritage and where some of his best friends still lived, he forgave Cambridgeshire the lack of hills on the basis it wasn’t always pouring with rain, the weather was much better.

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“He was a regular at Cambridge Machinery Sales at Cheffins, just outside Ely, and would love going along to see all the machinery and chat to farmers.

“He tended to stay away from Cambridge because he couldn’t stand the traffic, but every Wednesday he would go to Newmarket and have lunch at The Rutland Arms and he’d usually head to Ely on a Thursday, and liked The Almonry in the Cathedral.

“During the summer he loved being by the river or taking visitors to The Orchard in Grantchester.

“He liked the small market towns with the nice little tea shops and lack of traffic, ironically he felt safe there.

“My father was a very interesting man who loved to travel. He hated school as a child but always loved geography and after he retired he travelled extensively across Europe. He made several trips to the US, but wasn’t keen on long flights so preferred exploring Europe.

“Over the past 10 to 15 years he travelled throughout the continent including Switzerland, Croatia, Italy the Norwegian Fjords and the south of France. He went on cruises, river boat trips and coaching holidays, but often he would jump into his car and head off on his travels with his travelling companion. They enjoyed the freedom of taking their time, not being in a rush to get anywhere.

“In recent years he became very widely read and even turned one of his rooms into a library. He would read anything, from the classics to car manuals. He was full of knowledge and could hold a conversation on any subject.

“He also had a passion for engineering and would spend hours working on old machines. I have a number of old cars and he would enjoy tinkering with the engines to get them up and running again.”

Mr Thomas was also an avid cricket fan, watching test matches and following the results of his beloved Glamorgan.

Richard added: “Everyone who met my father remembered what an interesting character he was.

“Despite his age he was lucky with his health and was thoroughly enjoying his retirement.

“Every day he would go to my farm in Waterbeach where he’d tinker around with the old cars and machinery and chat to local farmers about what they were growing and whether it had been a good season. He loved going to the farm and it gave him a reason to get up every morning, it made him feel worthwhile and gave him a purpose.

“I will miss him a lot, not only was he my dad, but we had such great times together as we shared similar interests.

“His death has devastated us all and we are desperate for whoever is responsible to be brought to justice.

“If anyone has any information, please call police so we can have some closure to this terrible tragedy.”

Police continue to appeal for information about the murder and in particular three distinctive watches were found to be missing from his home along with a wallet.

Detectives also want to speak to motorists who saw Mr Thomas’ silver Rover 75 estate, registration BJ51 CJV, which was also stolen during the burglary between 9.30pm and 10.30pm on the night he was killed. The car was later found dumped in Church Lane, Milton.

Anyone with any information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.