Billy Livesley’s loved ones were determined to attend court proceedings and get justice for him.
The first time Peter Connors appeared in court, after being charged with Billy’s murder, family and friends of the young father-to-be turned out in force.
The public gallery in court six at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court was packed for the hearing on January 4, a week after Billy was found seriously injured.
Unusually, four police cars were stationed outside the building on Darlington Street and officers were inside the courtroom.
Emotions ran high and there was shouting from the public gallery as the hearing got under way.
The defendant gave his name to magistrates as Ricky Connors, with his solicitor Elizabeth Dyson saying it was Ricky Peter Connors.
Shouts of abuse again came from Billy’s loved ones and Connors shouted back, with police officers intervening to bring the heated public gallery under control.
Magistrates walked out, Connors was removed from the dock and the hearing was stopped while Billy’s family and friends left the courtroom.
It was decided that the case should be heard in private due to the disorder and Connors was taken back into the dock shortly afterwards.
The case was sent to Manchester Crown Court and Connors was remanded in custody.
He appeared before Judge David Stockdale QC, Honorary Recorder of Manchester, by video-link three days later and the date for the trial was set.
Police vehicles were again parked outside the magistrates’ court building on January 30, when Connors’ brother David Connors made his first appearance after being charged with murder.
It is understood that Billy’s family and friends attended the hearing to see the man accused of killing him.
He was initially named in court as Myles Connors, but this changed to David Myles Connors as the trial started.
Billy’s loved ones attended every day of the trial at Manchester Crown Court to hear the evidence put before Judge Alan Conrad QC and the jury.
They were seated in the public gallery on the ground floor of court three, while the defendants’ family was directed to go upstairs to a separate public gallery to watch the proceedings.
Billy’s family was accompanied by members of the police, including family liaison officers, with a uniformed officer standing between the door to the courtroom and the public gallery during the trial.
After sitting through many days of evidence and nervously waiting as the jury considered their verdicts, they anxiously returned to the public gallery yesterday afternoon.
The emotions were visible as - more than six months after the death of their beloved Billy - his murderer was found guilty.