The heartbroken mother and fiancée of murdered family man Simon Holdsworth have spoken of their grief at losing their ‘bright, shining light’, writes Gael Stigant.
Christine Holdsworth and Carleen McKeown made a tearful appeal for information to help to trace the paintsprayer’s killer following his brutal murder on Monday night.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch Simon’s mum and fiancee addressing the police press conference.
His mum Christine said: “You can’t tell anybody how much this hurts. I didn’t think I would ever sit here and say this. Please help.”
Simon had got the 120 bus home to Hackenthorpe from work in Intake on Monday at about 11pm. He had been doing an overtime shift to pay for Christmas and save up for his wedding to fiancée Carleen next year.
Carleen went to bed and left the heating and Christmas lights on at their home on Westfield Avenue, Hackenthorpe, for his return – but he never arrived.
His body was found on playing fields next to The Hogshead on Delves Lane.
He used to play football there or go sledging with his three-year-old son, Tiarnan – who turns four on Christmas Eve.
“Simon was my rock,” said Carleen. “He was a bright, shining light. We were so happy as a family with our son – it will be his fourth birthday on Christmas Eve.
“We had already done our Christmas shopping and his presents are wrapped. His dad won’t be there when he opens them. This has ripped us all apart. I don’t hate the person that’s done this because Simon was warmth and he was love. I just want to know why did this happen? That’s all.”
She said: “I met Simon shortly after I’d had Tiarnan and straightaway I knew I had a good man here. He was a great dad, Tiarnan was his son, and he was the best dad ever. They used to spend hours building Lego together.”
Christine said Simon, a huge Sheffield Wednesday fan, had ‘endless friends’ and would go out of his way to help anybody. From being a young child he was very outgoing and he lit up a room when he walked into it,. He was so lovely and caring with such a bubbly personality and a smile for everyone.
“What has happened to Simon has devastated our lives. We are such a close family and this has left a huge hole. He was over the moon to be getting married next year and loved his fiancée and little son very much.
“We can’t understand why anybody would want to hurt Simon. Everybody liked Simon. He was always bubbly and happy. He would drop everything even if he was busy to help someone else. He had worked so hard on his home and garden to make a beautiful family life for them.
“I just want someone to help us in any way they can. Carleen’s world has gone.
“I never thought I would know what a broken heart felt like, but I do now. The last thing we said was ‘love you’. That was the last thing we said to each other.”
Police are continuing door-to-door inquiries and still searching for a murder weapon, believed to be a blunt instrument.
Temp Det Supt Phil Etheridge, who is leading the murder inquiry, said tracing passengers and people near Simon’s bus stop on Birley Spa Lane was now a priority.
Anyone who has any information can call 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.