Billy Livesley murder trial: Court hears details of dad-to-be's fatal head injury

The jury in a murder trial has heard details of the serious head injury that killed a young Wigan father-to-be.

Friday, 12th July 2019, 8:21 am
Updated Friday, 12th July 2019, 9:21 am
Billy Livesley

Pathologist Dr Charles Wilson took to the stand at Manchester Crown Court yesterday to share his findings after carrying out a post-mortem examination on the body of 21-year-old Billy Livesley.

Paramedics had found Billy lying on the floor of a car park on Bickershaw Lane, Abram, on December 28.

Dr Wilson said he was told Billy had a Glasgow coma score of five out of 15, which meant he was “seriously unconscious”.

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Billy Livesley

Paramedics could not insert a tube to secure his airway because his jaw was clenched, so when he stopped breathing they used ventilation by nose.

Billy was taken to Wigan Infirmary to be stabilised and then Salford Royal Hospital.

Further treatment was given but he had a cardiac arrest, the court heard.

A CT scan could not be carried out to see the extent of his injuries because he was so unwell, Dr Wilson said.

The car park where Billy was fatally injured in Bickershaw Lane, Abram

He was taken to the operating theatre, but died before any surgery could be carried out. He was pronounced dead at 5.30pm.

Dr Wilson, who examined Billy on December 30, told the trial: “The cause of his death was a head injury.”

Billy had a laceration between the temple and left side of his head, which Dr Wilson said had “clearly been caused by a blunt object”.

The bone had fractured into several pieces and there was “quite severe disruption of the brain tissue”, with the weapon crossing through the left side of the brain into the right.

The area of damage was 8cm vertically and up to 10cm horizontally, Dr Wilson said.

From his examination of the wound, he suggested either the weapon was moved up and down once it had penetrated Billy’s head, he had moved or there was a combination of the two.

Dr Wilson said it was “extremely unlikely” the weapon just came out of his head afterwards, it would have been withdrawn.

“From the moment this weapon passed through the left side of Mr Livesley’s brain, the right side of his body was going to be effectively paralysed and not working properly,” Dr Wilson said.

Billy also had injuries to his face, which could have been caused by “a single uncontrolled fall onto his face”.

Toxicology tests found cannabis in his body, but Dr Wilson said he could not say whether Billy was under the influence of the drug when he was attacked or if the effects would have worn off.

Dr Wilson was shown an image of a pry bar, which was around 30cm long, and said it would be “entirely consistent” with the injury.

The jury was also shown CCTV footage from that night tracing the movements of brothers Peter Connor, 32, of no fixed address, and David Connors, 24, of Layton Street Caravan Park, Layton Road, Preston. Both men are on trial for murder, a charge which they deny.

The first clips showed a Ford Connect van travelling along Lily Lane and arriving at the Triangle Club at 9pm.

Four people got out - Jimmy Price, Connors, Christopher Price and Kevin Shaw - and went into the club, where they spoke to the defendants’ brother James Connor.

They left the club shortly afterwards and drove to the Brynn Street caravan park where Connor lived to pick him up.

A Chrysler C300 owned by John “Leggy” Pownall was seen driving past the site at 9.14pm, shortly before the van left and went in the same direction, towards Bickershaw Lane.

Mr Pownall pulled into the car park, where the court had earlier heard he had arranged to meet Billy.

The van initially drove past, before turning round on Bickershaw Lane and going to the car park.

After the incident in which Billy was injured, CCTV footage showed the van turning left out of the car park and going up Bickershaw Lane to a caravan site at 9.20pm.

Three minutes later, a Vauxhall Combo van was seen travelling towards the car park, driven by Connor.

The van was later seen going onto Lily Lane and towards Bamfurlong at 9.26pm.

Meanwhile, the Ford Transit van was seen heading towards Belmont Avenue at 9.30pm. Three people walked away 37 seconds later, while a fourth person walked away at 9.36pm, before breaking into a run on Beacon Road.

Connor drove to the snooker club, parking outside at 9.29pm before going in to speak to his brother James. He was seen answering a phone call at 9.34pm.

Four minutes later, the prosecution said, footage showed him appearing to make a punching gesture while talking to his brother, followed by putting his arms up in the air. He left the club at 9.39pm and went to the caravan site, before leaving again at 9.46pm.

Parts of two statements made by Billy’s father Scott Livesley last month were also read to the court. He said Connor was “bullying” his son and had punched him several times around 12 to 18 months ago.

The first occasion was outside a bookmaker’s in Platt Bridge, when he “bust his nose”.

Mr Livesley phoned Connor to ask why he had hit him, but he put down the phone.

He punched him again a week later, the court heard.

When Billy told his father he had done it again, he phoned Connor and went to see him at a Toby Carvery pub on the East Lancashire Road.

He asked Connor why he kept punching Billy and was told he was being “cheeky”. Connor said he would not do it again.

Mr Livesley said Connor had “mithered” Billy about selling drugs for him, but he had refused to do it.

The court also heard a statement from a witness, who saw a Ford Transit van park up on December 28.

He saw two men wearing dark clothes get out of the vehicle and rush away.

The next day he saw the van being recovered and told the police about it after hearing about Billy’s death.

l Proceeding.