Billy Livesley murder trial: Heartbroken girlfriend reveals moment she knew her lover was dead

Billy Livesley
Billy Livesley

A jury has heard the moment a Wigan woman saw the father of her unborn baby receiving the blow that killed him.


The murder trial at Manchester Crown Court was shown a video of a police interview with Leah Galvin, where she described what happened to her boyfriend Billy Livesley on the evening of December 28.

The pair, along with friend Dillon Bland, had gone to a car park on Bickershaw Lane, Abram, so Billy could give £80 to John “Leggy” Pownall.

Ms Galvin said she did not know why Billy was giving the money to Mr Pownall and thought it was “weird” that they would meet in a dark car park.

They travelled in a Mercedes hire car and waited in the car park for a few minutes before Mr Pownall arrived.

Ms Galvin said Billy, 21, got out of the car to speak to him, while she and Mr Bland stayed in the vehicle.

She said Billy seemed “normal” when he was talking to Mr Pownall.

But the court heard that soon after, a van pulled up and Peter “Ricky” Connor got out. Billy started “cowering”, she said.

Connor, 32, of no fixed address, along with his brother David Connors, 24, of Layton Street Caravan Park, Layton Road, Preston, both deny murdering Billy.

Ms Galvin said: “I could tell Billy panicked and started running back and moving to the back of the car.”

As he ran, someone got out of the van and hit Billy with what she described as a “big knife”.

Ms Galvin said: “All I could see was a big knife hit him and when they drove off, he was lying on the floor. The person who hit him was saying, ‘I’ve killed him, I’ve killed him’ I heard him say that.”

The van then drove off and Ms Galvin said she was “frightened” at first to go over to her boyfriend.

Ms Galvin got her scarf from the car for Billy’s injury.

“I couldn’t even look at him because I knew he was in a bad way,” she said. “I was panicking.”

During the interview, she said Mr Pownall told her to say Billy had fallen over.

She did not immediately tell police he had been there because she was scared, she said.

The jury had earlier heard from Mr Bland, who said Connor was shouting and swearing when he arrived at the car park.

He said Billy took a step forward and a step back as Connor approached him.

He said: “I have never seen a look like that on his face. It looked like he was scared, terrified.”

Mr Bland said he did not see Billy when he ran away, but got out of the car when Ms Galvin shouted: “He’s down, he’s down, he’s down.”

The court heard the 999 call made by Mr Bland, who initially told the call handler Billy had been assaulted, before Mr Pownall told her he might have been hit by a car.

Mr Bland, 20, also gave a false name.

He told the court that Mr Pownall had made a motion across his throat during the phone call, which he took to mean “shut your mouth” and said he lied because he was scared of “the consequences”.

He said Mr Pownall moved his car after Billy was injured, concerned because he was on licence.

In a second police interview shown to the jury, Ms Galvin said she had been in a relationship with Billy for two-and-a-half years and they saw each other every day.

She described him as "bubbly, chatty" and with "a dead good personality".

She said he had a "heart of gold" but also an "angry side", and he was a "little fighter" who "wouldn't bow down" to anybody.

She told the court there had been issues between Billy and Connor in the past, with Connor hitting him.

He asked Billy to sell drugs at the beginning of November, but he said no.

She again recounted the events of December 28, saying the pair had been out for Chinese food, before going to Wigan with Mr Bland and then meeting Mr Pownall.

In the video, she said Billy introduced her to Mr Pownall last summer and he was "dead nice and chatty", telling her stories about Billy as a child.

She said Billy had known him "all his life" and used to go on trips with him and his son Jake.

They met in the car park on December 28, but soon after a van arrived and Connor "jumped out" and asked where his money was.

Ms Galvin said Billy jumped back, so Connor could not get close to him and moved away. She said she had never seen Billy scared or back off and knew something was going to happen.

As Billy got near the van, a door opened and she saw someone take "a good swing" and hit him with what looked like a knife.

Afterwards, the van drove off, but Connor returned a few minutes later.

Ms Galvin said he told her to shut up, as she was crying, and told her to tell Jake Pownall "that will be him next" while pointing at Billy on the floor.

Proceeding.