THE mother of brutally murdered Debbie Linsley has given up hope of her daughter's killer ever being caught despite a 17-year manhunt.

Marguerite Linsley's daughter died aboard the 14.16 Orpington-to-Victoria train on March 23, 1988, after boarding it at Petts Wood station.

Somewhere on the short journey between Petts Wood and Victoria, the 26-year-old senior hotel receptionist was stabbed 11 times.

A huge manhunt was launched but no-one has ever been charged.

Speaking just days after what would have been her daughter's 44th birthday, 71-year-old Mrs Linsley says she has also given up on the British justice system.

The resident of Lakeside Drive, Bromley, said: "If they had caught him straight away then he probably would have been out by now.

"That would have made me even angrier than the fact he's never been caught because he could be dead or always looking over his shoulder."

The case was reopened in October 2002 when scientists created a DNA fingerprint from blood found at the scene thought to be that of the killer.

The DNA profile reveals the killer is probably a white male who would have been between 30 and 40 years old when Debbie died.

The police are now looking into new ways of scanning the DNA to see if they can identify the suspect's family through the family bloodline.

Mike Bird, a researcher with the Met Police murder review group, said: "Somewhere there is a man in his 50s or his 60s who has this horrible secret."

Despite the advances in DNA profiling, Mrs Linsley thinks her daughter's killer will never be caught.

She said: "We have given up hope. They do not usually catch them when it is this long.

"I think I knew six months after she died they weren't going to catch him."

She added: "We will never forget her. In fact we raised a glass to her and made sure her grave was nicely decorated for her birthday on October 20."

But the family, including father Arthur, 71, and brother Gordon, 40, were relieved when the case was reopened.

Mrs Linsley said: "When they first closed the case it was as if her life had never been.

"Now I know even if they do not catch somebody they have tried.

"It's not closed and that is just one small ray of hope."

Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen someone acting suspiciously that day.

If you have any information, call 020 7230 1980 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.