THE heartbroken sister of a Renfrew man who was brutally beaten to death has made a tearful plea for help to catch his evil killer.

Amanda Digby, 35, said her family have been left "devastated" by the loss of 37-year-old Paul Mathieson, who was attacked and left for dead as he made his way home from a night out.

Paul – dad to a 12-year-old son – was found with serious facial injuries in Wilson Street, Renfrew, in the early hours of Sunday, January 14, and died in hospital almost a week later.

As police continue their hunt for Paul's murderer, Amanda urged anyone who has information to get in touch.

She said: “Paul was so special to us. He was a brother, a nephew, an uncle, a grandson and a partner but, most importantly, Paul was a father and his murder has left a 12-year-old boy without a dad.

“Paul left that night to go out for a few drinks, however he never returned and we never saw him alive again.

"His death has left a massive gap in our lives – a gap we will never fill. We are devastated at what has happened.

"No-one ever thinks this will happen to them and we thought that too.

"We are still desperately trying to make sense of what has happened.

“I just want to ask people, please, if you have any information about the crime or the person responsible, please speak to the police and pass on this information, even if you think it’s not relevant.

"Imagine if you were in our position. You would do everything that you could to find out why your loved one has been taken away. It’s in all of our interests to find the person responsible for my brother’s death, so please help us and contact the police.”

Officers have said Mr Mathieson was heading home after buying a pizza from a fast-food shop before he was seen talking to another man in Wilson Street.

The man then struck him several times before running off towards Houston Street.

He was taken to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow but succumbed to his injuries a few days later.

Detectives have managed to trace a number of people who were seen in the area on CCTV footage at the time and have taken around 100 statements.

Officers said Mr Mathieson was in the Kind Man’s pub, in Hairst Street, and the Western Bar, in Main Street, earlier in the night before popping into a takeaway shop near his home. 

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Fergus, from the Police Scotland Major Investigations Team, said: "This is an isolated incident in Renfrew town centre but because of the amount of people that were out and about at that time, we're really focusing on the CCTV and how and why the assailant happened to be in Houston Street at that time.

"What's taken him there? How did he get there? Was he in anyone's company? 

"As you can imagine there is hours of painstaking CCTV footage that we have to look through and hundreds of people were out in Renfrew on that night, as they are on any Saturday night.

"These people may hold key information as to why Paul was assaulted that night. 

"If they know Paul, or Paul T as he is locally known, if they saw him that night or saw whose company he was in, please don't hesitate to contact us immediately." 

Anyone with information should call 101.