Following the conclusion of the Billy Livesley murder trial, it can now be revealed that one of the prosecution’s key witnesses has been jailed for contempt of court.
Christopher Price, brother of Jimmy Price (who was convicted of perverting the course of justice) and cousin to the Connors brothers, is now serving six weeks behind bars.
Price was set to be one of the prosecution’s star witnesses, having given an apparent tell-all statement to the police in the days after Billy Livesley’s death. He had told them who he claimed was responsible for Billy’s killing, and incidents leading up to those horrifying events in the car park in Bickershaw Lane.
He had told police that Peter Connors said “he’s dead” just moments before Billy, a dad-to-be, was allegedly struck in the head with a pry bar by David Connors.
He also said that he was in the van that had picked up Peter “Ricky” Connors along the way from his home in Bamfurlong, and that as they drove along Bickershaw Lane, they saw Billy Livesley in the car park.
But confusion reigned when he took to the witness box and declared that his police interview was a “load of lies” and answered the majority of questions put to him with “I don’t know.”
He went back on his statement that he had been in the van on the night of Billy’s death, insisting he was actually at home.
Despite his lengthy, recorded interview, Price even denied any knowledge of Billy’s death or even that his cousins were on trial for murder, saying that his statement was “a load of lies”.
When asked why he would lie about it, he said “I don’t know”.
It can now be reported that, unbeknownst to the jury at the time, the 26-year-old had to be brought before them in custody after he went back on an initial promise to testify.
Price did not arrive at court as expected ahead of the trial, forcing police to execute an arrest warrant at his home at Bickershaw Lane caravan park on June 15.
The father-of-two attempted to flee on foot, but was apprehended after a short chase. He was subsequently held in custody until June 11.
While the jury was spending that morning considering whether to find David and Peter Connors guilty or not guilty of murder, Price was in the very dock his cousins had sat in just minutes prior, pleading guilty to contempt of court.
Judge Alan Conrad QC sentenced him to six weeks in prison, and prevented the sentence from being published until the trial was concluded.