A GREENOCK dad-of-three was murdered in front of his own children in his Maple Road home, police confirmed today.

Detectives are re-appealing for information following the murder of Christopher Nicol, 27, on Thursday.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Fergus from the Major Investigation Team held a press conference this morning as police asked for the public's help to catch his killer.

He said: “Christopher Nicol was within his flat in Maple Road around 9.05pm on Thursday night when he was violently attacked in front of his two young children aged five and six years. Both children are receiving full support from a number of partner agencies at this time.

 "At this time we believe that the motive for this was robbery and that Christopher was targeted specifically because his attacker thought there was a large sum of money in the house which was not the case.

"For whatever the reason, to carry out such a brutal attack in front of such young children is absolutely sickening. It shows an absolute disregard for their safety or suffering.  This callous killer must be caught.

“Although our murder investigation is progressing, we have been disappointed by the public response to our previous appeal.  I believe that the answer to this murder lies in the local community and I am in no doubt that there are people out there who have vital information on this incident, who have not yet come forward.

"I would urge them to look to their conscience and contact us.  I would like to hear from local people in Greenock to give us details of anyone they know who was out and about in the Maple Road area on Thursday evening.   The man responsible has quite a distinctive description, so if you have any idea of his identity, then please contact us as soon as possible.

“We will trace the man responsible, but I would appreciate any information that the local community can provide. Don’t wait for us to visit your home, do the right thing and come forward. You may hold that vital piece of information that could lead us to the man responsible for this murder.”

The suspect is described as white, between 20-30 years of age, with a local accent and approximately 5 ft. 9 inches tall, slim build, with an unkempt, reddish, brown beard and moustache. He had bad teeth, with some visibly missing. He was wearing a black beanie hat with a logo, possibly Timberland, black top and black jeans or bottoms.

Anyone with information should contact detectives from the Major Investigation Team (West) via 101 quoting incident number 3888 of 26 September 2019.  Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.