Loved ones turn out en masse to remember Littlehampton man described as 'gentle soul'

Friends, loved ones, relatives and colleagues turned out en masse earlier today to take part in a march from Brighton to Littlehampton, all devoted to the memory of Paul Lawrence, who was killed last month.

Participants walked down Littlehampton seafront earlier today, wearing shirts bearing the 51-year-old’s likeness and collecting donations in his memory.

Mr Lawrence was tragically killed in the early hours of January 28, a Sussex Police statement released last week said. Officers found him lifeless on Gladonian Road and pronounced his death at around 6am that same day.

His family, who were supported by specialist police officers throughout the ordeal, later released a statement, describing Paul as a ‘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,” his daughters, Louise and Josephine said.

“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, added that Paul could “light up the darkest of rooms with his smile,”

“We are honoured to say that Paul Lawrence was our brother. Our hearts are not only broken but they’re totally ripped apart.”

The same day as Mr Lawrence’s death, a 16-year-old boy from Littlehampton was arrested on suspicion of murder. After careful consideration, he has been released on bail with strict conditions – including curfew – until March 15 while investigations continue.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Duncan Elliott, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: “This is an active investigation and our officers are working tirelessly to establish exactly what happened that morning. This has included forensic analysis of the scene, house-to-house enquiries, taking witness statements, and securing information and intelligence."