Hunt on for hatchback after Crimewatch Sheffield murder appeal

Carleen McKeown, fiancee of victim Simon Holdsworth, on Crimewatch.
Carleen McKeown, fiancee of victim Simon Holdsworth, on Crimewatch.
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Detectives hunting the killer of a Sheffield man are looking for a dark coloured hatchback – either a Ford Escort or Vauxhall Astra.

Experts have analysed CCTV footage captured close to the crime scene and believe the killer was driving a dark hatchback vehicle.

Murder victim Simon Holdsworth.

Murder victim Simon Holdsworth.

Detectives worked through the night after a national appeal for help to identify the killer of 36-year-old Simon Holdsworth, who was bludgeoned to death as he walked home from work in December last year.

A team of officers manned the phones in the BBC’s Crimewatch studio in Cardiff on Wednesday night while colleagues in South Yorkshire were ready to answer calls made direct to the major incident room.

Police chiefs gave the go ahead for detectives to make a national appeal for information about the murder - three months after Simon was killed. The paint sprayer was making his way home from work when he was attacked and left for dead in a field in Hackenthorpe.

His body was discovered off Birley Spa Lane on Tuesday, December 17 and a post mortem revealed he had suffered severe head injuries.

CCTV footage, which police believe may show Simon and his killer, was screened last night and is being enhanced to try to improve the clarity.

A camera close to the crime scene captured a car pulling up on the night of the murder and a figure walking onto the field where Simon’s body was later found.

Moments later another figure walks onto the field and a short time later a figure leaves and drives off in the car. Detective Superintendent Phil Etheridge, leading the hunt for the killer, said the car in the CCTV footage close to the crime scene was of ‘massive significance’.

He also said he wants to hear from anyone who knew Simon ‘in any capacity’ as detectives try to find out everything about his life.

Anyone with information about the murder should call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident 149 of December 17. Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555111.