THE BBC's Crimewatch has revealed a sinister figure visited the home of Andrew Batterton nine days before he was stabbed to death.

But police have voiced disappointment at the poor response from the public since the programme was aired last Thursday.

A Cheshire Constabulary spokesman said: 'We took the appeal to Crimewatch but unfortunately have not received the response we hoped for. Hopefully, there are still people out there who will come forward because of the fresh appeal.'

Mr Batterton, a 45-year-old father of four, was stabbed repeatedly in his Hale Road home on January 10. Just days before, his flatmate had a terrifying experience.

Crimewatch revealed that at about 7am on New Year's Eve, Warren Fenlon, 36, heard a noise outside his bedroom window. He looked out to see a man standing outside, peering in.

The man said: 'Tell him I'll be back,' then fled the scene.

The housemate later found the living room window had been smashed.

Investigating officers in Widnes are now exploring possible links between the incident and the murder.

Police appealed through the programme for anyone who knows the identity of the man or the reason he was outside the flat to come forward.

Mr Batterton was stabbed in the back and side three times in his bedroom at about 5am.

Police now believe the murderer had climbed in through an open bedroom window and left by the same route.

No weapon has been found, nothing was stolen, there is no evidence of a forced entry and police are not aware that Mr Batterton was involved in any kind of criminal activity.

Mr Batteron's wife had died eight weeks earlier.

The programme pointed to CCTV footage from a nearby camera which showed a shadowy figure approaching the flat shortly before the killing.