A MEMORIAL fund has been set up to help pay for the funeral of Greenock dad Christopher Nicol who was murdered in front of his children

Local women Laura Bradley and Fiona Hutcheson have set up an online appeal to support Chris's family at this tragic time.

Laura, 34, is a neighbour who lived across from Chris in Maple Road.

She says the whole community is in shock following his death.

Laura said: "My kids used to play with his kids.

"He was a good friend and such a nice guy.

"I just cannot believe what has happened.

"I couldn't think of anyone who would want to hurt Chris - he wouldn't harm a fly.

"It was so unexpected, he didn't have any enemies.

"Everyone is in shock, from Pennyfern to Larkfield."

Laura described Chris as a doting dad who would do anything for his children.

She said: "He had them for the full six weeks of the summer holidays and took them out every day."

Mum-of-two Laura said she and Fiona wanted to give something back to support Chris's family for his friendship over the years.

She said: "Funerals are expensive and we wanted to give something back.

"We don't have a lot of money ourselves, so we set up the fund.

"Chris deserves the best send off as he was a great dad and son and friend to many and he will be sadly missed."

A masked knifeman burst into Chris's flat and stabbed the 27-year-old to death last Thursday night while he was looking after his young children.

Police investigating the killing have made a renewed appeal for information after receiving a limited response from the public.

The fact that the killer is still at large has left residents living in fear.

Laura, who is among the people who have left tributes outside Chris's home, said: "People are frightened to open their doors.

"My friend's wee girl heard someone banging about the close and was terrified."

The target for the fund is £1,000 and £280 has been raised so far.

If anyone would like to contribute they should visit https://www.facebook.com/donate/960564790966331/2695068713846753/