POLICE believe a Sheffield family man murdered in the run-up to Christmas was likely to have been the victim of a targeted attack and are combing through his personal affairs for a potential motive.
Temp det supt Phil Etheridge, who is leading the inquiry into the murder of Simon Holdsworth, yesterday appealed for information about anyone who might have held a grudge against the 36-year-old whose body was found in a field close to his home in Hackenthorpe.
He said: “We need to hear from anyone who might know someone who had a grudge against Simon, someone who was perhaps in dispute with Simon or someone who had a motive to take his life on that cold December night. Someone out there knows the answer to these questions.”
The detective also made a fresh plea for witnesses who were in the area around the time Mr Holdsworth was attacked to come forward.
Mr Holdsworth’s body, was discovered in a field off Birley Spa Lane, at about 6.30am on December 17.
The previous night, he had finished work at FBS Prestige in Intake, where he worked as a sprayer, at 10.55pm.
Mr Holdsworth had been working extra hours to buy presents for his fiancée, Carleen McKeown, and his step-son Tiarnan, who turned four on Christmas Eve. The keen Sheffield Wednesday fan was due to marry his partner and was trying to save money for their honeymoon.
A colleague gave him a lift from their workplace to a bus stop in Mansfield Road, close to the Noah’s Ark pub, where he got on the number 120 First Bus shortly after 11pm.
He got off that bus at his usual stop, close to the Hogs Head pub, around 10 minutes later. However, he never made to the family home which was only a few hundred yards away.
Temp det supt Etheridge said: “This was a brutal and tragic crime which has torn apart an ordinary, loving, hard-working family.
“I would urge everybody who holds any information at all, however apparently insignificant to call us straight away. Please let us be the judge of how important the information you hold is.”
A 45-year-old arrested in connection with the inquiry earlier this month was released after questioning and remains on police bail.