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Tributes paid to ‘hero’ grandfather found dead in street in seaside town

A grandfather found dead in the street has been described as a “hero” and “gentle soul” by his family.

Tributes have been paid to Paul Lawrence, a “beloved” resident in Littlehampton, West Sussex, who was killed on January 28.

The 51-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene in Gladonian Road at around 6am, according to Sussex Police.

A 16-year-old boy from Littlehampton was arrested on suspicion of murder, but has since been released on bail with strict conditions until March 14.

Mr Lawrence’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.

“Our hearts are not only broken but they’re totally ripped apart.”

His daughters, Louise and Josephine, also released a statement through Sussex Police describing their father as “full of happiness” and “loved by all who knew him”.

They said: “He was a family man who devoted his life to his children and grandchildren, and he was immensely proud of everything they achieved.

“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.”

The pair added that “all we can hope for is justice” as the police investigation continues.

Mr Lawrence’s mother Marie also described how she “can’t visualise a world without him”, while step-daughter Chloe said he was a “special and endearing person”.

Officers are continuing with house to house inquiries and forensic analysis of the scene as they urge witnesses to come forward.

Detective Inspector Duncan Elliott, of the Surrey and Sussex major crime team, said: “We are treating this as an isolated incident and we have no information at this time to suggest a weapon was involved.”

Anyone with information or mobile, CCTV or dashcam footage is urged to contact the police quoting Operation Sett or Crimestoppers anonymously.