NICOLA Sturgeon has been urged to hold a public inquiry into the random murder of a father-of-three by a man who had been illegally at liberty for six months.

The First Minister said she would give “full consideration” to the request from the bereaved family of Craig McLelland, but stopped short of agreeing to it.

Mr McLelland, 31, was stabbed to death in his home town of Paisley last year by James Wright, 25, who had breached his home detention curfew but remained at large.

Two official reviews found the Scottish Prison Service correctly followed guidance on curfews in the case, and the police updated their systems once his order for recall was issued.

However police officers were unable to demonstrate “a professional level of inquiry was carried out” due to “non-recording of activity undertaken to trace the offender”.

Wright was given a life sentence with a minimum of 20 years for what judge Lord Matthews said was “the pre-meditated stabbing of a victim picked at random”.

At First Minister’s Questions, Labour MSP Neil Bibby said Mr McLelland’s family felt the reviews had not answered key questions about why his killer was on the streets.

He said: “Two reviews have indicated that there were significant failures but were not specifically tasked at looking at what went wrong in this case.

"Craig's family have conducted themselves with unbelievable strength and dignity.

"They still do not have confidence that the correct lessons have been learned or that changes have been made to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening to another family.

"The McClelland family now believe that only a full public inquiry will give them the answers they deserve. Can the First Minister give them her support?"

Ms Sturgeon said Mr McClelland's murder was "an absolutely awful crime".

She said: “I cannot begin to imagine how Craig McClelland’s family and friends are feeling.

“I am not surprised that there are answers that they still seek and that they feel that they have not yet had the opportunity to get those answers.”

She said the Scottish Government had already accepted all the recommendations from the reviews, and introduced new safeguards to strengthen home detention curfews.

For instance, a presumption against putting those convicted of violence and knife crime on such curfews.

“So lessons have been learned from this dreadful, tragic case,” she said.

But she stopped short of accepting the need for a public inquiry.

“On the further action that Craig McClelland’s family consider is appropriate, the justice secretary has offered to meet them again and that offer stands. The justice secretary will be happy to discuss with them the actions that they consider appropriate and we will give full consideration, as a Government, to each and every one of them.”

Scottish LibDem MSP Liam McArthur

said: “

They are clear that the wider reviews of home detention arrangements that have taken place have left them with more questions than answers. That cannot be right.

"I hope, therefore, that the Justice Secretary will now confirm that a full independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Mr McClelland's murder will take place."