Condolences are being extended for a cherished member of the Littlehampton community who met with a tragic end in the early morning of Sunday, January 28.
Paul Lawrence, a resident of the area, was tragically confirmed dead at the site of an incident on Gladonian Road at approximately 6 am. He was 51 years old.
Throughout this difficult period, his family has received support from officers trained in handling such sensitive situations.
On behalf of the family, Paul’s daughters, Louise and Josephine, have released a statement.
Paul’s daughters Louise and Josephine have issued the following statement on the family’s behalf:
“Paul was a much-loved son, brother, father and grandfather. He was a family man who devoted his life to his children and grandchildren, and he was immensely proud of everything they achieved.
“He was a gentle soul, full of happiness, and loved by all who knew him.
“Paul was a true representation of what every man should be or should aspire to be. Kind, generous, and always laughing or smiling with the most reassuring smiley eyes. Our Dad was our hero, our strength, our everything.
“Not only has he lost out on special memories watching his grandchildren grow up; they have also had the best grandad in the world taken from them.
“We could go on forever listing all the great things about him, but ultimately, no words will ever be enough to describe the impact of our loss.”
“Every second spent with you and every memory we hold will be forever cherished. Words cannot describe how much we love you Dad. All we can hope for is justice.”
Paul’s siblings, John and Shelley, said: “Paul was the kindest man that would help anyone. He would light up the darkest of rooms with his smile and cheeky laugh. We are honoured to say that Paul Lawrence was our brother. Our hearts are not only broken but they’re totally ripped apart.”
And his mum, Marie, added: “My lovely son Paul, I’m really broken. I loved him so much, I can’t visualise this world without him.”
Paul’s step-daughter Chloe said: “I could go on for days about why Paul was such a special and endearing person, but his number one quality for me has to, and always will be, his ability to love me as his own. It takes a great man to be a dad, but it takes an even greater man to be a step-dad.”
On the same day, a 16-year-old boy from Littlehampton was apprehended on suspicion of murder. After careful review of the circumstances, he has been released on bail with stringent conditions, including a curfew, until March 14 as the investigation continues.
Detective Inspector Duncan Elliott of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who is leading the investigation, stated: “This is an active investigation and our officers are working tirelessly to establish exactly what happened that morning. This includes forensic analysis of the scene, house-to-house enquiries, taking witness statements, and securing information and intelligence.
“We are treating this as an isolated incident and currently, we have no information suggesting that a weapon was involved.
“We are still urging anyone with information to come forward, especially those who might have mobile, CCTV, or dash cam footage that could have captured anything relevant.
“In the meantime, I urge the public to refrain from speculating or posting anything on social media that could jeopardize the investigation.
“If you have any information, you can report it online or call 101, quoting Operation Sett.”