POLICE have stepped up patrols in Renfrew this week after a man who was battered in a “brutal” attack lost his fight for life.

Paul Mathieson, 37, had been on his way home from a night out when he was approached by a man in the town’s Wilson Street at around 1.10am on Sunday, January 14.

In the moments that followed, Mr Mathieson was viciously punched to the ground.

He suffered serious head and facial wounds during the attack and was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, in Glasgow, for treatment.

Tragically, almost a week after the assault, Mr Mathieson succumbed to his injuries in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police have now launched a murder investigation and have been scouring footage from CCTV cameras in Renfrew town centre in a bid to find the killer.

Officers have said Mr Mathieson was heading home after buying a pizza from a nearby 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.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Fergus, from the Police Scotland Major Investigations Team, said: “From our enquiries so far, we know Mr Mathieson was the victim of a sustained and brutal attack by one man and he died as a result of his injuries.

“Mr Mathieson, who was quite well known in the Renfrew area, had been out for the night and was heading home after buying a pizza from a nearby fast-food shop when, from CCTV, he was seen talking to another man in Wilson Street.

“Then, for some unknown reason, the man attacked him, punching him to the ground and striking him several times before making off towards Houston Street.

“Unfortunately, Mr Mathieson lay for some time before he was found by a member of the public, who called the emergency services.”

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

DCI Fergus added: “Although their information has assisted our enquiry, we have still to trace the man responsible.

“We need to trace Mr Mathieson’s movements that night and speak to those who may have seen him about.”

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.

DCI Fergus continued: “Renfrew town centre would have been busy at the time. I am appealing to anyone who can help us catch his killer to get in touch.”

Anyone with information which may help the police with their investigation is asked to call officers on 101 immediately.

Details can also be passed on to the Crimestoppers charity in complete confidence by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting the website at https://crimestoppers-uk.org.