Family's appeal in murder probe

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide: Police have appealed for witnesses after a "loving, caring, bubbly" man was beaten to death in Sheffield Police have appealed for witnesses after a "loving, caring, bubbly" man was beaten to death in Sheffield

The family of a "loving, caring, bubbly man" murdered on his way home from work have made a tearful appeal for witnesses to help solve the crime.

Paint sprayer Simon Holdsworth, 36, was beaten to death on Monday night after catching a bus to his home in Hackenthorpe, Sheffield.

Police today released a CCTV image taken from the number 120 bus Mr Holdsworth was travelling on minutes before he was violently attacked.

Speaking at a press conference today, his mother Christine wept as she asked for any passengers who might have information to get in touch with police.

Mrs Holdsworth described her son as a "loving, caring, bubbly man with a smile for everyone".

She said: "You protect your children all your life and the one time he really needed me I wasn't there.

"What has happened to Simon has devastated our lives. We are all such a close family and this has left a huge hole in all of us.

"He was over the moon for getting married next year and loved his fiancee and his little son very much and we all loved him too.

"Simon would never ever hurt anybody and we can't understand why anyone would want to hurt Simon.

"Please search your conscience - if you can help in any way please, please come forward even if you think it might not be significant."

Mr Holdsworth caught the bus in Mansfield Road, Intake, at around 11pm.

CCTV footage showed him and another passenger both getting off the bus at Birley Spa Lane around 15 minutes later and heading in opposite directions.

The murder victim's body was found at 6.30am on Tuesday in a field opposite the bus stop and near to a primary school.

Detective Superintendent Phil Etheridge, who is leading the investigation, said that tracing passengers and people near the bus stop was a priority.

He said: "I believe people on the bus or near the bus stop on Birley Spa Lane may have vital information for us about his murder.

"Bus passengers and people near the bus stop may have seen or heard something that could provide the vital piece of information that will lead me to the person or people who attacked and killed Simon."

Officers today continued to carry out house-to-house inquiries and searches of the area.

Mr Holdsworth's partner Carleen McKeown said : "Simon was a good man, he loved his football and he loved fishing. But most of all, he was a family man.

"He had played football and gone sledging on that field, as well as walking through it regularly on his way home from work."

Anyone who was a passenger on the bus, or who has any information about Mr Holdsworth's murder, is urged to contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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