THE man convicted of murdering a young dad-to-be after hitting him over the head with a crowbar has been jailed.

Today, Monday at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square, David Connors, 26, of Bickershaw Lane, Wigan was sent to prison for the murder of 21-year-old Billy Livesley, from Platt Bridge.

He has been sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years.

Jimmy Price, 22, of Bickershaw Lane, Wigan has been sentenced to 18 months for perverting the course of justice.

Leigh Journal:

Jimmy Price

During a three week trial, the court heard how on Friday, December 28, Billy had been in a car park on Bickershaw Lane with his girlfriend and a friend when a white Ford Transit Connect van – driven by Price – pulled up.

A man emerged from the van and approached Billy, who instinctively backed away.

After spotting Billy’s attempts to flee, Connors got out of the van and fatally struck him in the head with a crowbar.

Connors was then heard exclaiming "I’ve killed him, I’ve killed him" before he fled with Price and the other man in the van.

Around ten minutes after the attack, Price drove the white van away from the immediate area and abandoned it on Belmont Avenue in an attempt to conceal it from detectives.

Police and paramedics were called to the scene but unfortunately Billy died the following evening from his injuries despite the best efforts of emergency services and specialist doctors.

A Home Office Post Mortem revealed that Billy died from a fatal penetrative head injury.

Detective Inspector Wesley Knights, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “The blow inflicted on Billy on that fateful day last year was nothing short of horrific and had devastating consequences.

"His loved ones have understandably been left heartbroken and they have shown incredible strength throughout the trial.

“Connors ripped away Billy’s chance to be a doting father to his unborn son and also tore him from his family and friends whom he meant the world to and sadly nothing can bring him back.

“His loved ones have remained at the forefront of our minds throughout our painstaking investigation and I hope that today we have helped to provide them with some closure, knowing that those responsible are now locked behind bars.”

Billy's family have paid tribute to him.

Leigh Journal:

His dad, Scott Livesley, said: “Billy was a fun loving and outgoing young man who loved all his family.

"Billy was over the moon about becoming a first time Dad.

"He would light up any room he walked in with his million dollar smile.

“Billy was a keen rugby player and loved football.

"His beloved football team Everton paid tribute to Billy which he would have loved and as a family we are forever grateful.

“Billy had a special bond with his siblings and loved his mum and dad unconditionally.

"Billy will never be forgotten and losing him has left a huge hole in our family.

"Our lives will never be the same again. WE LOVE YOU BILLY XX.”

Leigh Journal:

Billy with his mum Sylvia Mitchell

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Billy’s mum, Sylvia Mitchell, said: “My son’s life was brutally taken away from me.

He was one in a million and had a heart of gold.

"He would do anything for anyone. His heart was bigger than him.

“Losing Billy has destroyed my life. I’ve been deprived of being able to watch him grow up to be the best dad he could ever be.

"The loss of Billy has broken the whole family and also our community.

“He was a kind loving and caring person and I am so proud to call him my son.

“Thousands came to his funeral and this just shows how well known and loved he was. Rest in peace young man Mum will always love you xx.”