Christmas Eve Murder: Police Search Building

Police have searched a property close to where a pensioner and church organist was killed on his way to midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

Alan Greaves, 68, from Sheffield, was found with head injuries on the pavement close to his home on Greengate Lane at around 11.15pm on December 24.

South Yorkshire Police have not said whether the search was related to Mr Greaves' death. An officer was seen leaving the building carrying a handful of bags.

Meanwhile, private prayers were held at St Saviour's Church in High Green, where Mr Greaves, a retired social worker, had been an organist and lay preacher for nine years.

He died on Thursday night surrounded by his family at the city's Northern General Hospital.

Police have launched a murder investigation and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick said it is likely a weapon was used but the motive for the attack is not known.

He called the assault "brutal".

Friends and neighbours have described Mr Greaves as a good and kind man. His wife Maureen, a church community worker, was said to be devastated.

"He was a good man and this was an evil act," said Canon Simon Bessant, who worked closely with Mr Greaves and his wife.

"He was a gentle soul. He wasn't foolish - he would have handled the situation as best as anyone would but we don't know what he encountered."

Mr Bessant said Mr Greaves had been attacked 250 yards from the church and that his family had been at home.

"His wife wants justice but she doesn't want vengeance. She is not embittered but obviously she wants this person to be caught."

Mr Greaves had four adult children and had recently become a grandfather to two twin boys adopted by his daughter in Mozambique.

He and his wife had recently set up a food bank and community project in the area where he was murdered.

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