A BRUTAL killer who stabbed young dad Christopher Nicol to death in front of his kids said 'sorry' as he fled the bloodbath he left behind.

Neighbour Andy Haxton today told how he battled to save the 27-year-old after he was attacked at his home in Maple Road.

Moments earlier Christopher had been helping his five-year-old son to colour in a picture and his daughter, who is a year older, was with his girlfriend, Courtney Lowe, making dinner when a masked man burst into the flat.

Andy, 48, told the Telegraph: "We heard noises like furniture getting tossed around.

"I called Chris's mobile and his girlfriend Courtney answered - I heard her shouting 'help, help' and 'get out!'.

"I shoved on my trainers and rushed downstairs and when Courtney opened the door she was in total shock, as white as a sheet.

"She said the man said 'sorry' and ran out the door.

"Chris was lying on the living room floor, near to the kitchen.

"He was covered in blood.

"He had a dark blue t-shirt and the blood had soaked into it.

"I started doing CPR - it was horrendous.

"It looked as if he had been stabbed in the chest, under his shoulder blade.

"I was pumping his chest and on the phone to the emergency services, they were telling me what to do.

"I'd never done it before."

Andy, who lives in the flat above with his partner Annmarie McKinnon and their four children, said it appeared as if Chris had been repeatedly attacked.

He said: "It looked as if he had been stabbed in the eye.

"I tried to put pressure on the wound and I was told to try to give mouth to mouth resuscitation but the blood was pouring out his mouth.

"There was even blood on the walls."

Andy, a dad-of-six says he can't sleep after the trauma of last Thursday night.

He said: "I'm still in shock.

"I can't sleep, every time I try to close my eyes, I see his face.

"I've never experienced anything like that in my life.

"You just don't think something like that would happen on your doorstep.

"I hope they catch the guy who did this and hang him."

Andy says Chris was a devoted father.

He said: "He was a brilliant dad and a great neighbour and wouldn't have done anyone any harm.

"Hee saved every penny to take his kids out.

"He took them swimming or to Edinburgh Zoo, safari parks, he took them everywhere."

Annmarie, 37, said that Chris' girlfriend had managed to get the kids into the kitchen when their dad started being attacked.

Then the kids were taken upstairs to her flat.

She said: "His wee boy Darren said 'the bad man had a big knife'.

"Amylynn kept asking 'when is my daddy going to come upstairs? Is he going to walk up, or is someone going to carry him up?'

"Then she asked 'is my daddy going to be all right, is he going into the ambulance?'

"We didn't think it was our place to say anything, we told them that the police would speak to them."

She kept the kids with her and Andy that night and they bunked up with her children until a relative collected them early in the morning.

She said:"They don't really understand what is going on.

"They're traumatised.

"They're adorable wee weans.

"It just makes you feel sick.

Annmarie said: "The fact he said 'sorry' makes me think he did know Chris and that he knew he had some money in the house."

Dad-of-six Andy is still recovering from a major heart operation carried out four weeks ago to have a pacemaker, a metal valve and a defibrillator inserted.

He said: "I kept pumping Chris' chest, it seemed like for 10 minutes.

"I'm gutted I couldn't save him."

When police arrived at the scene they took over and Annmarie was swift to praise their response.

She said: "They were there within five minutes and there was a team of them running into the close."

Detectives leading the murder inquiry say they have had a poor response from the public as they try to catch Christopher's killer.

Annmarie said: "That makes me feel bad.

"These walls are paper thin but we didn't hear anything."

*If anyone has information which could help the inquiry they should call the Major Investigations Team on 101, quoting incident number 3888 of September 2019. Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.