Magistrates were forced to hold a hearing behind closed doors when a man accused of murder appeared in the dock.
Emotions ran high as grieving friends and relatives of 21-year-old Billy Livesley crowded into the public gallery in court six at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court on Friday morning.
All the seats were full, with some people having to stand in court to see the man accused of killing the father-to-be from Platt Bridge.
There was a large police presence, with several officers in the courtroom and four liveried vehicles parked outside the building on Darlington Street.
Peter Connor, 31, of no fixed address, appeared in the dock wearing a grey jumper and trousers, flanked by two dock officers.
There was shouting from the public gallery as the hearing got under way.
The defendant gave his name to magistrates as Ricky Connor, with his solicitor Elizabeth Dyson saying it was Ricky Peter Connor. He confirmed his nationality as British.
The court heard Connor was charged with the murder of Billy Livesley on Friday, December 28.
Shouts of abuse again came from Billy’s loved ones and Connor shouted back, with police officers intervening to bring the heated public gallery under control.
Magistrates walked out, Connor 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 Connor was taken back into the dock shortly afterwards.
He asked why his family could not be there and was told the hearing would take place with no-one in the public gallery.
Magistrates returned and Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, told them the case should be sent to crown court and Connor should be remanded in custody until then.
Miss Dyson said she had nothing to add.
Eric Rutter, chairman of the bench, told Connor: “The case will now be sent to Manchester Crown Court on January 7 at 9.30.
“Until then you will be remanded in custody.”