THE daughter of a Gwent man bludgeoned to death more than 30 years ago is desperate for his killer to be identified before she dies.

Joan Evans' father Isaac Hughes and his friend Arthur Waite were murdered at his Blaenavon home on Easter Monday in 1972. No one has ever been charged with the murder that rocked the small mining town.

But Mrs Evans, now 77, believes someone still living in the Blaenavon community may well hold the key that could unlock the mystery of one of Gwent's most infamous crimes. She is now appealing for help so the murderer can be found.

Mrs Hughes, from New Inn, said: "This will live with me until the day I die. I can't rest until I know I've tried to find out who killed my father. Someone in Blaenavon must know something. The killer may even still live there.

"Time is going along and I just want someone to find it in their heart to help me find out who did it. I want to do this for my dad."

Mr Hughes, 70, was found dead in the living room of his home on Rifle Green.

He had received a single blow to the head from a sharp object before choking on his own vomit. His friend Mr Waite, 50, a local miner, was struck eight times with the sharp weapon as he sat in a chair. The ferocity of the attack left gouge marks in the ceiling of the living room.

The men had spent the evening of Easter Monday drinking at the Rifleman's Arms near the cottage where they were killed.

Police at the time believed the killer was well-known to the pair as there was no sign of forced entry. Officers interviewed all 8,000 residents of Blaenavon and dug up the gardens of Mr Hughes' cottage but no murder weapon was ever found.

The two men's bodies were found by Mr Hughes' brother Bert on the Wednesday following Easter.

Police believe the likeliest theory was that Mr Hughes was killed first by an enraged attacker in front of Mr Waite, who was then murdered because he was a witness.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Keen, from Gwent Police, described the killings as a "terrible incident" and confirmed the case's file remained open.